It looks like the winter season came early for some parts of Michigan. According to reports, the state saw more than a foot and a half of snowfall across parts of its Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin.
However, it wasn’t much of a fun, magical winter wonderland; thousands were left without power as the storm system brought frigid temperatures and shivering winds. As a result, other parts of the country are feeling the freezing temperatures from the Midwest to the Southeast and Northeast.
The chilly temperatures, in combination with powerful winds over the warm waters of the Great Lakes, created an environment ripe for massive snowfall.
“Some of these snow bands can really set up,” said meteorologist Jane Minar. “We could see snowfall rates of 2 to 3 inches per hour.”
While the highest snow totals have been found near Lake Superior, meteorologists have also reported snow in other cities across the Upper Midwest and the Great Lakes.
For instance, Chicago and cities across northern Illinois saw snow on Monday. This event marked their first snow of the 2022 winter season.
Michigan, Wisconsin, parts of Illinois see their first snowfall of the season
The National Weather Service in Chicago also tweeted a picture showing flurries in the community of Lake Villa. The community sits northwest of Chicago near the Wisconsin border.
However, Michigan and northern Wisconsin are supposed to have the highest snowfall. The most concentrated bands of lake-effect snow will remain over the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and northern Wisconsin, where the season’s first major snowstorm is currently happening.
At this time, Gile, Wisconsin, has seen 18 inches of snow. Additionally, Ironwood, Michigan, got just over 14 inches of snow in less than two days.
Additionally, in Wakefield, Michigan, the town picked up a foot of snow. Nearby Bergland is also getting closer to a foot of snow. This area could pick up a few more inches of snow by the time the storm system leaves the region, but its effects are already being felt.
According to experts, these high snow totals could cause transportation problems. Officials urge people driving in areas where heavy snow is to be as careful as possible.
“Marquette, your average first snow is Oct. 16, so we had our first snow last week a little ahead of schedule, but pretty close,” meteorologist Britta Merwin said.
However, powerful and gusty winds, combined with heavy, wet snow, led to tens of thousands of people being without power. Most of the outages were in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
As of Tuesday morning, officials had reported more than 32,000 outages. According to PowerOutage.US, the Michigan communities with the most outages include Baraga, Marquette, Alger, and Luce counties.