Schools cancel, traffic slowed as spring snow blankets area

MARQUETTE — Residents in Marquette County woke up this morning to having to scrape the ice off the cars, but that’s probably to be expected this time of year.

A total of 5.4 inches of snow was recorded Thursday by the National Weather Service in Negaunee Township.

“I would say in the grand scheme of things, it is not overly unusual,” meteorologist Matt Zika said.

He noted the average snowfall in the region is about 14.5 inches, so for the middle to late part of the month, Thursday’s snow event wasn’t out of the ordinary.

“If we think back over the last several years, last year, obviously around this period of snow, we had two feet of snow dropped on us,” Zika said.

However, he said when it snows during the day this time of year, the impacts vary from when snow falls in December through February because of the different sun angle.

Because the sun now is higher in the sky, sunlight is more intense now than winter, causing snow to melt and ice to form, said Zika, who noted there also was some freezing rain overnight.

Since July 1, the area has received 220.2 inches of snow, with the normal average for this time period being 195 inches.

Zika said the weather pattern looks like it will be relatively cool over the next week to 10 days, and there could be mixed precipitation events.

Because of the inclement weather and hazardous driving conditions, school districts were closed today.

Also canceled for this evening was the open house and star show at Shiras Planetarium, located at Marquette Senior High School.

It was announced on the Marquette Area Public Schools’ Facebook page the event would be rescheduled soon.