First blast of snow, cold blankets area; Wake-up call for motorists on icy, slushy roads

REALITY CHECK–A Baraga County plow cuts a swath down the Ford Road in Watton in the wake of last week’s snow storm that buried the region in a thick layer of wet & heavy. Mother Nature delivered a one-two punch as the storm was immediately followed by an arctic blast that drove temperatures into the single digits and in some places, lower. The coming week promises a return to warmer temperatures, up to the mid-30’s.

by Nancy Besonen
Nature delivered a winter wake-up call last week with  the first major snowstorm of the season. Schools were cancelled Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 14 and 15 as near-blizzard conditions enveloped Baraga County. High winds, heavy snow and temperatures that drove the mercury south of single digits teamed up to strike the bitter blow. According to the National Weather Service in Marquette, it’s pretty much business as usual. Meteorologist Todd Kluber provided details on the system, an early Christmas present from Canada that swept in last Tuesday night. Kluber admitted the system packed a punch but was nowhere near a record-breaker, considering the season. “It wasn’t a record, but it was kind of a shocker for a lot of people,” Kluber said. “This year, fall went so long, and the snow pack isn’t so deep. It’s not our ordinary weather. “We had a very strong air mass that’s been persistently coming in out of Canada the past few days, with west or northwest winds,” Kluber said Friday afternoon. “With Lake Superior still wide open and water temperatures relatively warm, a significant amount of snow developed. To read more, subscribe to the L’Anse Sentinel online, or buy a print copy at our local retailers.