Karl’s Korner

I call it “the storm against which all others are measured.” The Storm of ’38 occurred on January 24-25, 1938 and brought much of Upper Michigan to a standstill.

Low pressure developed over the Plains on Sunday, January 23 with one center over the northern Plains and another over southeastern Texas. By Monday morning, one deepening low over central Illinois was moving toward Upper Michigan.

Heavy, wet snow began falling and quickly piled up. Soon, roads became impassable as strong winds blew the snow into huge drifts. It snowed all day Monday and Monday night as colder air began dropping the temperature. By Tuesday morning January 25, a strong storm system sat near Sault Ste. Marie, causing blizzard conditions over most of the U.P.

At the height of the storm, a suspicious fire broke out on Washington Street in downtown Marquette. At least four buildings were destroyed, including the Opera House built by one of Marquette founders, Peter White. Fire fighters fought heroically to put down the fire. In it’s aftermath, Washington street became an icy mess.

After the storm, the temperature plunged to 32 below zero in Iron Mountain on January 28 and 39 below on February 1, but only light snow fell the rest of the winter.

Only light snow is expected over the next week with a little heavier snowfall possible in the Lake Superior snow belts as much colder air takes hold beginning this weekend.


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