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      Storm of the Century: Jan 24-25, 1938

      The Storm of 1938 began on this date 76 years ago and reached its peak across the Upper Peninsula later that day into January 25, 1938. It was a classic that developed in east Texas on Sunday, January 23. It then moved northeastward to central Illinois on Monday the 24th (Image 2 & 3 above). During the next 24 hours it then deepened into a real stem-winder, moving only to just east of the Sault on the 25th (Image 4). It brought wet, heavy snow to virtually the entire peninsula, with blizzard conditions for up to 24 hours.

      Traffic was brought to a standstill from late Monday into mid week. Snow totals included 18 inches at Marquette with nearly 3 feet in some of the higher elevations of the western and central U.P. A major fire occurred at the peak of the storm in Marquette, while cars were buried in many areas due to tremendous blowing and drifting snow.

      The storm was followed by a moderate arctic blast, but then, as if the system scoured out the atmosphere, mild, quiet weather rounded out the winter. In Marquette, only a foot of snow accumulated the entire month of February, while only eight inches fell the in March. The mean February temperature was over 6 degrees above average, and March was over 8 degrees above normal. Golfers hit the links on the first day of spring 1938. The Storm of 1938 was a dandy, but it was a singular event in an otherwise mild winter season.