Winter will be here soon. In an effort to raise awareness about the potential dangers of the upcoming winter season, Governor Rick Snyder has declared November 4 – 10, 2018, as Winter Hazards Awareness Week in Michigan.
As we know, Upper Michigan winters are severe, so preparedness, awareness and common sense are always important when facing winter hazards. During Winter Hazards Awareness Week, Michigan residents are encouraged to learn about the dangers associated with wintry weather and how to stay safe during the winter season.
Looking back to last winter, it was a pretty typical winter across most of Upper Michigan.
Temperatures averaged just below their long term average throughout the winter season. Snowfall was much more variable ranging from near normal across the Keweenaw, above normal across the southern U.P., and below normal across the central and eastern U.P.
What does the winter of 2018-2019 have in store for the Upper Great Lakes? In the absence of a strong El Nino or La Nina, confidence in the winter outlook is lower than normal. While probabilities favor a slightly milder than normal winter for the northern Plains and Upper Great Lakes, we will still have plenty of bouts of arctic cold across the area. The snowfall outlook is even trickier, but living downwind of Lake Superior guarantees there will be significant lake effect snow at times throughout the winter.
With plenty of cold weather and rounds of wintry weather expected during the next six months, now is the time to get prepared for the upcoming winter season. Many simple preparations can be taken including making sure your car is ready for the colder weather, having a survival kit in your car, ensuring you have warm coats, hats, and gloves, and being aware of potential fire and carbon monoxide hazards from alternate heat sources such as a fireplaces, wood stoves or space heaters.
For more information on how to prepare for the upcoming winter season, visit the National Weather Service Marquette website at www.weather.gov/mqt, or follow us on Facebook (facebook.com/NWSMarquette) or Twitter (@NWSMarquette)