Bitter temperatures expected to ease up

Relatively mild conditions to replace dangerous windchills

Windchill temperatures this morning, Monday Dec. 19, 2016, reached as low as minus 30 degrees in Marquette County. The snow and ice-covered sidewalks in downtown Marquette are nearly empty as citizens opt to stay warm in their cars and indoors. (Journal photo by Rachel Oakley)

MARQUETTE — The bitter cold snap that has swept through the region is expected to break today, as windchill advisories are to be lifted and frigid temperatures are to return to normal, if not slightly above average for this time of year, officials said.

“This was the break. We finally broke out of it, we just have to get through this morning here then things definitely moderate out,” said Todd Kluber, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service station in Negaunee Township.

Most of the central and western Upper Peninsula counties were under a windchill advisory today, as windchill temperatures of minus 32 degrees, the lowest in Marquette County, were reported early this morning at Sawyer International Airport, Kluber said. The NWS issues windchill advisories when wind temperatures approach minus 25 degrees.

The extreme weather conditions caused Marquette Area Public Schools, along with Negaunee, Gwinn, Ishpeming and NICE Community schools to close for the day, while several other districts across the U.P. had either canceled or delayed classes.

Kluber said he expected the advisories to be lifted this morning, though below zero windchill temperatures would likely continue through early this afternoon.

Dale Kolpack, of Marquette, bundles up against the cold Monday morning in downtown Marquette. (Journal photo by Rachel Oakley)

“After that point it looks relatively mild from what we’ve had over the last week, pretty much through Christmas,” Kluber said.

Temperatures in the Marquette County area are expected to rise today, with highs estimated at 17 to 22 degrees, according to the NWS. Kluber said forecasts call for high temperatures in the mid 20s to low 30s through next week, with lows in the mid teens and 20s.

“It doesn’t look like any really cold nights, … inland maybe in the teens most nights, but pretty seasonal for this time of year if not slightly above average,” he said.

In Marquette County, a record low temperature of minus 21 degrees for today’s date was set in 1983. Kluber said the lowest temperature reported today was minus 12 degrees in Sawyer.

Reports in the city of Marquette had temperatures at minus 5, while temperatures of minus 11 degrees were observed in Gwinn.

Sunday’s average temperature of minus 4 was 22 degrees below the normal value, while the observed minimum, minus 12 degrees, fell short of the 1983 record of minus 19 degrees.

Kluber said the NWS station in Negaunee Township had record-breaking snowfall Saturday with 13.7 inches. The previous record of 11.5 inches was set in 1981. About 7.5 inches of snowfall was reported Saturday in the city of Marquette.

As of early this morning 44.9 inches of snow had fallen since July 1, about 10 inches short of the normal value for this time of year, but far beyond last year’s total of 15.7 inches.

Ryan Jarvi can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 270.