NEGAUNEE TOWNSHIP — Whether we like it or not, winter weather conditions are already upon us. The state of Michigan wants to remind residents to get ready by means of an annual event that begins this Sunday.

Winter Hazards Awareness Week lasts from November 2nd through the 8th. Many U.P. communities hadn’t experienced the bitterness of last winter’s cold, or the length of time that it lasted, in more than 110 years of weather recordkeeping in the region.

“Our big message is going to be sent out via both our website and our social media channels,” National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Zika said. “We’ll have little safety reminders coming up during the week next week, maybe telling people today’s the day to make sure you have your car prepared and have a safety kit in your car.”

Seasonal weather forecasting is a tough task. A year ago, there were no indications that last winter would be as difficult as it was.

So what does this coming winter look like?

“The one guarantee that we do have for this coming year is, it will not be as cold as it was last year,” Zika said. “Sure, it will get cold, Sure, we will have some snow, but the persistence and the duration of the cold that we saw last winter, there’s nothing showing that we’re going to see a repeat performance of that.”

The U.P. counties with Lake Superior shoreline from Gogebic County to Alger County had a lake effect snow advisory in place from 8:00 Thursday night until 2:00 this afternoon.