MARQUETTE - Heavy snow showers and high winds from the area's first widespread snowstorm of the season affected the Marquette area, making holiday travel difficult Friday.
The National Weather Service in Negaunee Township reported 7.4 inches of snowfall for Marquette County as of 4:30 p.m. on Friday. The winds peaked at about 40 mph in Marquette, 38 mph at the NWS, 47 mph in K.I. Sawyer and 48 mph in Big Bay. The maximum wind gust recorded was 72 mph at the Stannard Rock observation platform on Lake Superior.
Due to the high winds, there is blowing snow, especially close to Lake Superior, said NWS Meteorologist Keith Cooley.
At left: A man snowblows the sidewalk in front of the St. Peter Cathedral during the storm in Marquette Friday evening . (Journal photo by Zach Jay) Above: Snow coats Washington Street Friday night. (Journal photo by Adelle Whitefoot)
"Blowing snow can cause reduced visibility and become dangerous to drivers," Cooley said.
According to Michigan State Police, travel conditions Friday night were worst on roads adjacent to Lake Superior and east of Marquette, due to slush and ice on the roads.
The inclement weather caused the postponement of the Ishpeming Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting, originally scheduled for Friday night. The event, sponsored by the Ishpeming Business Association, has been rescheduled for 6 p.m. Sunday.
The weather has caused some nautical delays as well - the arrivals of the Herbert C. Jackson, H. Lee White and Michipicoten at the Lake Superior & Ishpeming ore dock in Marquette's Upper Harbor. They were expected today, but times of arrivals are still to be determined.
In the eastern Upper Peninsula, the Cloverland Electric Cooperative reported power outages from wind damage and downed trees on lines affecting about 1,000 customers. Areas affected included Brinley, Paradise, Sault Ste. Marie, St. Ignace and Detour.
The storm was expected to shift to the east overnight Friday and move out of the Marquette area, the NWS reported.
Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-486-4401.