Lake effect snow event arrives in the U.P.

NEGAUNEE — If you’ve stepped outside or peered out the window in many parts of the Upper Peninsula Thursday, you can probably guess what this story is about.

That’s right, snow.

A long-duration lake effect snow event is making its way across the peninsula. Cold air heading over Lake Superior has been producing pockets of snowfall across parts of the U.P., mainly near the shoreline. National Weather Service meteorologists say this isn’t an out-of-the-ordinary weather pattern for this time of year.

“It’s usually pretty transient, where you’ll see a burst of snow, the snow will lighten up, and then that overall pattern will continue for a couple of days here as we head into the early part of Saturday,” said Matt Zika, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Negaunee.

Tonight, winds are expected to turn northeastern, bringing the belts of snowfall to places east of Marquette. In addition to prompting residents to fire up their snow blowers, the lake effect fluff can pose a hazard to travelers.

“The number one thing we tell people – this being one of our bigger first events with regards to snow this year – is slow down, take your time getting [from] place to place,” Zika added.

Surges of very cold air are expected in the middle of next week, with high temperatures in the single digits and overnight lows below zero. And wind chills could even get as low as negative 20, so now is a good time to prepare to bundle up.