Winter won’t loosen grip on area

ESCANABA – Another late winter storm hit the Upper Peninsula Thursday causing power outages and school closures today throughout the U.P.

Locally, the Escanaba Water Plant recorded 6.25 inches of snow accumulation from the storm this morning and 2.25 inches Thursday morning for a combined two-day total of 8.5 inches of snowfall.

“The last few snowfalls have actually put us above last year’s snow total,” said maintenance operator Mark Rose at the water plant.

This brings Escanaba to a total of 77.6 inches of snowfall this winter, passing up last year’s total of 68.05 inches, according to water plant data.

Snow totals have not been this high since the winter of 2008-09, when the water plant recorded about 79 inches in total accumulation. In addition to Escanaba, Garden Corners reported 5 inches of accumulation from the storm, according to Jon Banitt, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Marquette.

A report from Manistique only indicated about 2 inches of snow, but there were even heavier amounts reported Thursday morning in the northern reaches of Schoolcraft County.

Nearly 650 local Upper Peninsula Power Company customers were impacted this morning by power outages in Gladstone, Rapid River, Escanaba, Bark River, and Cornell, according to UPPCO.com as of 9 a.m. today.

The storm also forced the closure of several schools in Delta and Northern Menominee counties.

So when will the winter madness end?

“Through the weekend we should be fine,” said Banitt, noting the next real chance for any precipitation will be Monday.

Escanaba’s forecast for today shows mostly sunny skies with a high near 33 degrees, and partly cloudy skies tonight with a low of 10 degrees.

Mostly and partly cloudy skies will remain through the weekend with a high Saturday of 33 degrees and a high Sunday of 40. Then on Monday there is a 50 percent chance of rain with high temperatures reaching 40 degrees. Temperatures will then dip to about 23 degrees Monday night with more snow likely into Tuesday.