How this winter stacks up to the last

NEGAUNEE TOWNSHIP — This winter is about halfway over, and those looking back on the previous winter season might think it’s been warm in comparison. According to the National Weather Service in Negaunee Township, that feeling of warmth is relative.

“We’re looking at 7 to 10 degrees above where we were last year,” said Todd Kluber, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Marquette. “Now, at the same time, we are below average this year, but coming off of a very cold winter, it actually feels like it’s, you know, we’re pretty warm for this year.”

As for snowfall, this winter has been on the dry side so far, but November’s record snow helped put snow totals near to or above average.

Also, Lake Superior was around 85% frozen at this time last year, and now it’s only at about 50%. A bit more ice is expected to form by winter’s end.

“There’s a chance that we’ll see a decent amount of ice on the lake, but compared to last year, we were looking at three, four foot thick ice across a good portion of the lake. This year, it looks like if we end up with anything, it will be just a lot of thin, floating ice no more than maybe a foot thick,” Kluber added.

The National Weather Service expects lower temperatures to continue into March, likely pushing the season’s overall temperatures a decent amount below average.