Arctic cold after storm
By NIKKI YOUNK
IRON MOUNTAIN – A winter storm passed through the area Wednesday, making travel difficult and causing some schools to close early.
Kari Fleegel, meteorologist with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Marquette, said that weather spotters from Dickinson and Iron counties reported both snow accumulation and rain.
Spotters recorded the amount of snow as well as the total amount of precipitation when melted.
In Amasa, there were two inches of snow and a total of .52 inches of melted precipitation; in Breitung Township, there were two inches of snow and a total of .43 inches of melted precipitation; in Iron Mountain, there were 1.2 inches of snow and a total of .45 inches of melted precipitation; and in Norway, there were .8 inches of snow and a total of .49 inches of melted precipitation.
The slushy and slippery conditions caused a number of accidents across the area, but local law enforcement said that none were serious.
At about noon, a driver traveling on Lake Antoine Road had a close call when his vehicle left the road and landed on the iced-over lake.
Officials from the Dickinson County Sheriff’s Department said that the driver had swerved to miss a deer. He was not injured in the accident, and his vehicle was not damaged, they added.
However, emergency responders determined that it would not be prudent to attempt to remove the vehicle from the ice. They decided to leave it where it was until ice conditions improved.
Another accident occurred later in the afternoon on U.S. 141 in the town of Niagara, Wis. It involved a car and a semi truck.
Police scanner traffic indicated that there were no injuries. Niagara and Marinette County officials were unable to be reached this morning for more information.
The weather also caused two local schools to close early on Wednesday.
Niagara students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade were dismissed at 11:45 a.m. and students in junior and senior high school were dismissed at 12:48 p.m.
All Forest Park students were dismissed at 12:31 p.m.
Most local schools were either on a two-hour delay or cancelled today.
Although no more snow is forecasted for the local area for the rest of the week, bitter cold temperatures are on the way.
“The main story for the next few days is the cold temperatures,” said Fleegel.
She said that temperatures will fall throughout the day today to about 0 degrees overnight. The coldest night will be Saturday night, with lows projected to be below zero, she added.
Cold temperatures are expected across the rest of Michigan after an arctic blast swept across the Northern Plains and made its way east.
In the western Upper Peninsula, temperatures in the teens were reported Thursday morning in Ironwood. In much of the rest of the state, temperatures were in the 30s to 50s, but they were expected to be in the 30s or below by Thursday evening.
A mix of snow and freezing rain is expected in places, making travel difficult. Cold weather is to continue through the weekend.
Gale warnings are in effect Thursday for Lake Superior and parts of northern Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, with high waves expected. In Lake Superior, the National Weather Service says waves of 18 feet are likely with maximum heights of up to 26 feet.
Nikki Younk’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.