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Blizzard Summary 1/12-14/24

We announced late last year that we would no longer measure snowfall. Well, at least not regularly 😉

Since we still have a snow board in our observation area — and we had cleared it before it started snowing Friday — we thought we’d stick a ruler down this morning after all was said and done.

Turns out 12.0″ fell in the past 48 hours ending 10 AM Sunday morning. That corresponds to 0.85″ of melted snow (liquid equivalent) that we caught in our precipitation gauge over that period.

Now, take it with a grain of salt because it’s in a somewhat sheltered area that is prone to drifting. However, this spot is lower than some and higher than others. Seems pretty average.

The National Weather Service office in Negaunee Township, just 8 miles up the road on US-41, measured just over 2 feet in that same time period. That is likely due to their higher elevation. Other reports closer to the lakeshore support lower totals such as ours.

In the future, we may provide a storm total measurement after significant events. That’s assuming that nearby drifts don’t expand to include our snow board. That can result from plowed snow mountains up wind growing over the course of the winter.

As far as wind speeds, our max recorded gust was 35 mph out of the north yesterday morning in the 7 o’clock hour. We have good “fetch” from that direction with no obstacles within 100 feet. The U.S. Coast Guard, located near McCarty’s Cove on the lakeshore, caught a 58 mph gust in the 10 AM hour but mostly clocked upper 30s / low 40s gusts throughout Saturday morning.

Got a Little Rain Last Night…

Last night around 9 PM EDT, we experienced a deluge of rain during a severe thunderstorm. Our automatic tipping spoon recorded the second highest rain rate in the 8 years we’ve been online (10.7″/hr). Overall, we picked up just over 1.5″ of rain in half an hour with about 1″ falling in the first 15 minutes of the storm.

We clocked a 37 mph wind gust during the storm. However, each wind measurement must last up to 2.5 seconds to be recorded by our system. It’s quite possible higher, shorter-lived winds were present during that storm as radar had indicated up to 60 mph gusts according to the severe thunderstorm alert issued by the National Weather Service.

There was lightning aplenty but no hail. We got quite the hail storm on Saturday July 22nd. The entire property was coated with pea size pellets.

Marquette is running WELL above normal for July rainfall. So far 4.89″ has been recorded by our automatic gauge (which is checked against a manual gauge daily). Marquette’s 30-year normal rainfall for July is 2.77″.

Incidentally, the third highest rain rate in our history (9.75″/hr) was recorded less than two weeks ago on July 15th when we picked up 0.64″ for the day.

The Great Pre-Christmas Blizzard of ’22

The pre-Christmas winter weather event began with two days of moderate snow & relatively calm winds (12/21-22). We were under a “Winter Weather Advisory” during the front side of the area of low pressure. Once the center of the low passed to our south, winds flipped to the northwest, and the blizzard warning began (1 AM 12/23) which lasted until 1 AM 12/25.

While our maximum wind gust of 38 mph on 12/23 was nowhere near a record for our station, that day ended as the windiest day in station history (7.5 years in service) based on sustained winds. The following day was our 4th windiest.

Continue reading “The Great Pre-Christmas Blizzard of ’22”

Spoiler: Christmas Will Be White & Windy

Updated: Tuesday 12/20/22 11:25 AM

Expect high winds & significant snowfall in the days leading up to Christmas (Fri/Sat).

It’s still too early to discuss exact amounts of snow or top wind speeds. Have the shovels, snowblowers and/or generators ready though.

Decent snowfall likely late Wednesday & throughout Thursday before main event on Fri/Sat.

As of 11:25 AM Tuesday, max winds should occur Friday afternoon thru early Saturday morning. If power should fail, buildings without a backup source of power or heat will cool quickly as temperatures slide into the teens or colder.

Continue reading “Spoiler: Christmas Will Be White & Windy”

Winter Storm Wrap-up (2/21/22 – 2/23/22)

After 50+ hours of snowfall, the sun finally appeared this afternoon!

This was a storm for the record books on parts of the Lake Superior Plateau (Negaunee area) where they received over 37″!

Down closer to the lake, we measured 18.3″ between 8 AM Monday the 21st and 5 PM Wednesday the 23rd. Meanwhile, the city’s official station recorded 13.5″ from 8 AM Monday to 8 AM Wednesday (we only recorded an additional 0.6″ after 7 AM). No daily or monthly records appear to have been set in Marquette.

Yes, “Twosday” (2/22/22) was by far the snowiest day of any February in our 5 years of measuring snow. In fact, that day ties 12/01/2019 for the snowiest one-day total on our record books. However, the December day produced 1.44″ of melted snow. Whereas yesterday the snow only melted down to 0.65″. Much lighter snow this time around! You can thank the colder temps for that — something you might have thought you’d never do.

It appears this was a very elevation-dependent storm system with Big Bay recording 20″ and similar numbers as ours from a station in Harvey close to the lake. Further up in Trowbridge (elevation: ~1000′), we see totals approaching 2 feet. That all makes sense since the lake definitely played a big part in the storm. Lake-effect (or enhanced) snowfall is quite subject to forces of elevation. For reference, we are 100′ higher than the official COOP station in Marquette, which partially explains our higher snowfall totals (generally, in fact).

Not for nothing, the website quadrupled it’s normal traffic on the 23rd! Google really likes our snowfall measurements and weather history pages. Many thanks to our dedicated visitors who encourage us to keep marching out into the wind-driven snow to take those measurements all winter long!

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