Early Winter Storms Kills Power for Tens of Thousands Across Michigan and Wisconsin

by Shelby Scott
(Photo by KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images)

It’s only October, however, for Outsiders across Michigan and Wisconsin, the early half of the workweek felt suspiciously like winter. For days, forecasters have predicted that a massive cold front would bring winter-like temperatures to much of the Midwest and the East Coast. Freeze alerts even stretched as far south as Florida. However, up near the Canadian border, regions across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin were slammed with a very early winter storm. Some regions were covered in as much as 18 inches of snow, knocking out power to tens of thousands of Americans.

Fox Weather reports that Marquette, Michigan has “smashed its record for the most two-day snow in the month of October.”

Altogether, the winter storm brought 9.1 inches of snow to the city on Monday. 8.9 inches of snow fell on Tuesday. For perspective, the region typically sees about 200 inches of snow per year. However, only five inches of snow tends to fall in October.

Other regions bordering the Great Lakes also saw up to 18 inches of snow thanks to the early winter storm. These specifically include Gile, Wisconsin and National Mine, Michigan.

Further, while snow storms typically do bring some power outages, the outlet reports its likely the combination of snow piling on trees still full of leaves weighed heavy on power lines, knocking out electricity. Heavy wind gusts also had an effect on widespread outages.

Utility workers managed to restore power to those affected by the winter storm overall. However, there were still about 14,000 homes across Michigan and Wisconsin without electricity Wednesday morning.

Michigan Winter Storm Brings Frigid Temperatures to Midwest, North-, and Southeast

Aside from wind and snow, towering waves across Lake Michigan were a concern for forecasters ahead of the winter storm. According to the New York Times, the storm moved over Lake Huron on Monday. By Tuesday, it had brought strong and frequent wind gusts to Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. Waves on Lake Superior specifically reached an astonishing 15 feet Tuesday afternoon, with forecasters predicting them to “taper” that evening.

That’s just the beginning though. While Michigan and northern Wisconsin saw record-breaking snowfall, temperatures in states near and far absolutely plummeted. Freeze warnings were issued for states including Missouri, Kansas, and Indiana. In addition, regions across the Mississippi Valley, central and southern Appalachians, and the Southeast were expected to be hit with record-breaking cold.

Farther away, residents in Maine were warned about potential flooding, with heavy rains expected through Tuesday night. Maine meteorologist Tim Duda said of the current cold weather pattern, “There is a lot of moisture funneling up from the south and southwest,” with forecasters having expected as much as 2 to 3 inches of rain.