An intrusion of Arctic air sent temperatures tumbling into the single digits and heavy snowfall across parts of the Midwest, and even though it was only a few snowflakes flying in Chicago, it was a marked change from last year…
Winterlike scenes unfolded across portions of the Upper Midwest Tuesday morning as many residents woke up to fresh powder covering their Halloween decorations.
Although parts of Minnesota and northern Wisconsin got their first snowflakes of the season late last week, a stronger blast of cold air brought snowflakes to the Chicagoland area for the first time this season.
The season’s first major lake-effect snow event has dumped more than a foot of snow on Lake Superior’s leeward shores.
And up to another foot of snow could fall in some spots.
Over the past 36 hours, snow has quickly piled up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula as well as northern Wisconsin.
As snow was winding down in that area Tuesday morning, the highest amount was observed near National Mine, Michigan, a town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, about 10 miles southwest of Marquette, Michigan, where 18 inches of snow were measured (set a new daily snowfall record on Monday).
On the Wisconsin-Michigan northern border, 18 inches of snow piled up in Gile, a small town in Wisconsin, and 14.3 inches accumulated in Ironwood, a town in Michigan.
— BirdingPeepWx (@BirdingPeepWx) October 17, 2022
Andes Tower Hills, a ski mountain in Kensington, Minnesota, which is northwest of Minneapolis, became one of the first ski resorts to open in the United States this season on Tuesday.
— NWS Gaylord (@NWSGaylord) October 17, 2022
Here are some select snowfall reports from the area.
Herman [Baraga Co, MI] PUBLIC reports SNOW of 9.00 INCH at 12:00 PM EDT — SPRUCE AND PINE TREES DOWN IN HERMAN. FRUIT TREES ALSO DAMAGED AT CO-OP STATION /HERM4/. HEAVY AND DENSE WET IS FALLING AND OBSERVED ON THE GROUND.
1 ESE Bergland [Ontonagon Co, MI] CO-OP OBSERVER reports SNOW of 11.40 INCH at 8:00 AM EDT — CO-OP OBSERVER STATION BERM4 BERGLAND DAM.
2 NW Wakefield [Gogebic Co, MI] PUBLIC reports SNOW of 12.00 INCH at 2:15 PM EDT — ESTIMATED SNOWFALL SO FAR AT THE SNOWRIVER MOUNTAIN RESORT NEAR WAKEFIELD. REPORT VIA SOCIAL MEDIA.
1 W Ironwood [Gogebic Co, MI] PUBLIC reports SNOW of 14.30 INCH at 4:46 PM EDT —
Gile [Iron Co, WI] CO-OP OBSERVER reports SNOW of 16.00 INCH at 10:40 AM CDT — AN ADDITIONAL 7 INCHES OF SNOW HAS FALLEN SINCE 5 AM CDT. THIS BRINGS THE STORM TOTAL SNOWFALL TO 16 INCHES.
Northern Indiana and far southwestern Michigan also picked up an early-season snowfall. The heaviest amounts totaled more than 3 inches. However, there were big differences in measured snowfall over short distances, and other nearby locations only had a light coating of snow on the ground Tuesday morning.
In the Chicagoland area, many residents saw their first snowflakes of the season. The early appearance of flurries was quite the change following last winter, which finished with little to no snow. No records were broken, but it was the earliest seasonal observation of snow since Oct. 4, 2014. The NWS office in Chicago said the earliest measurable snowfall, meaning at least 0.1 of an inch, was back in 2006, when 0.3 of an inch fell at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport, the official climate site for the region, on Oct. 12.
The earliest first occurrence of snow, meaning less than 0.1 of an inch, or what is called a “trace of snow”, was recorded 80 years ago on Sept. 25, 1942, NWS Chicago said.
The wet and heavy snow weighed down many trees. Combined with gusty winds, this led to downed limbs, downed wires and thousands of power outages. In Michigan, more than 30,000 customers woke up in the dark on Tuesday afternoon, according to PowerOutage.US, and more than 14,000 customers remain without power as of early Wednesday morning.
As of Tuesday morning, temperatures were as low as 9 degrees F at Crookston, Minnesota, which is in the northwestern part of the state. In the neighboring state of North Dakota, temperatures were just as low, coming in at 9 degrees F in Wahpeton.
Farther south, in Iowa, temperatures as low as 12 degrees F were reported in Le Mars, which is located in the northwestern corner of the state.
This cold weather is due to a pocket of Arctic air, which originated over the Hudson Bay in northeastern Canada, and that was sent southwards over the continental U.S.
When we get these first intrusions of more winterlike air in the Midwest, they are almost always accompanied by strong winds as well, and that has been the case over the last several days in the Midwest, with a few rounds of strong winds blowing across the Great Lakes, as a series of low pressure systems has drawn in increasingly cold air from the north. These strong winds stir up the Great Lakes and lead to rough and dangerous surf across the region.
High winds over 50 mph drove waves of 10 to 13 feet that caused flooded streets near the shoreline in Marquette, Michigan.
Prepare now! Stock up on Iodine tablets for the next nuclear disaster…
1 NE Marquette [Marquette Co, MI] LAW ENFORCEMENT reports HIGH SURF at 3:28 PM EDT — MARQUETTE CITY POLICE REPORTS WATER SPLASHING ONTO LAKESHORE BLVD. ADJACENT TO LAKEVIEW ARENA BY PICNIC ROCKS. BUOYS IN THE NEARSHORE WATERS ADJACENT TO MARQUETTE ARE OBSERVING WAVES OF 10 TO 13 FEET. CITY OF MARQUETTE PUBLIC WORKS DEPT. HAD PREVIOUSLY CLOSED THE PICNIC ROCKS PARKING LOT EARLIER IN THE MORNING DUE TO HIGH WAVES. WIND GUSTS FROM THE NORTH WERE RECORDED AT AROUND 40 TO 45MPH AT THE COAST GUARD STATION IN MARQUETTE JUST TO THE SOUTHEAST.
— Chicago & Midwest Storm Chasers (@ChicagoMWeather) October 17, 2022