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      Worst Storm in 18 Years: Feb 11-12, 1965

      Strong low pressure over Alberta will head quickly southeastward toward Upper Michigan tonight into Thursday.

      Much of the Upper Peninsula was nearly paralyzed by a severe snowstorm on February 11-12, 1965. The snow was preceded by a coating of ice, which made roads even more treacherous. A total of 15.1 inches of snow fell in Marquette, with a calendar-day record of 10 inches in Iron Mountain and Munising and 12 inches at Houghton. The storm was judged the worst since a 16.1-inch snowfall eighteen years before. The storm developed out of a broad low-pressure area over Texas that intensified and drove northeastward to the Lower Peninsula on the morning of the 12th (Images 1 and 2 above).

      High winds brought blizzard conditions and whipped the snow into five-foot drifts. The Weather Bureau in Marquette measured steady north winds at 28 miles-an-hour with frequent gusts to 40. During the height of the storm, main sections of Marquette County highways were blocked by giant snow drifts. All Marquette and Alger County schools were closed.

      The rest of February 1965 turned out to be a colder than average month. However, after the big storm snowfall was light. Only three inches fell through the rest of the month. The first half of March that year was mild, but a strong blocking pattern led to the coldest late-March weather in history.

      No big storms are in the offing. However, a strong low pressure developing in Alberta (Image 3) will head southeastward and cross the Upper Great Lakes on Thursday into Thursday night. Indications are that 2 to as much as 4 inches of new snow will fall as the low moves through the U.P. and/or northern Wisconsin. At this time, it appears the heaviest snow will fall over the northern U.P. Colder, blustery weather is expected on Friday with some light lake-effect snow over the north.