Winter Weather Prediction

When you think winter in the UP, you think snow. Marquette is definitely up there for one of the snowiest places in the US, and is no doubt home to the most wintry weather of all in the Midwest. With the end of fall, seemingly the shortest and sweetest season of them all, fast approaching it’s common to question what winter has in store for us this coming season. So, brace yourselves— it’s gonna be a cold one.

Snow shoe hiking in winter through a pine forest with falling snow near Marquette, Michigan Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Scientifically speaking, the chilling northwest winds that generally sweep over Lake Superior generate lake-effect snow, resulting in the snow-packed winters were used to seeing in the Upper Peninsula. Which is why, according to the National Weather Service, Marquette quintessentially receives the most snowfall per season, averaging at 141 inches. Though as you may have noticed with the recent heatwave we had this weekend, even the water is notably warmer this year with well above average temperatures. But according to the Weather Network, as soon as we get some boreal air come late November, we should see some lake-effect snow flakes. So, while last year, El Niño delivered what we consider a rather warm winter, this year, a meek La Niña is expected to precipitate a pretty average winter for our standards. So if you’re expecting fierce snowfall this year, like the blizzard of 1938 (20 inches in less than 48 hours), you’re gonna have to wait for that kind of wild weather.

White birch trees with snow in winter on the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigans Upper Peninsula.

Were predicting that this winter will be a bit nippy, and rather cloudy well into November with a fair chance of scattered snow specks flying early on in the season. But the bitter weather won’t come until a bit later. December and January are likely to have near or below normal precipitation, but for Marquette County that still means plenty of chances to get out and hit the slopes. We’re expecting the ski hill to open mid-December-ish, with peerless cross country skiing trails and snowmobiling terrain to follow shortly. So for all the current updates for your favorite winter sports, and weather conditions, be sure to check out: http://marquettesnowreport.com/.

A snow shoe hiker at a scenic overlook during winter from Sugarloaf Mountain in Marquette, Michigan Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

According to the 2017 Farmers’ Almanac, “winter is back!” Weather for the Midwest, and especially the Upper Peninsula is calling for an exceedingly cold winter, with subzero temperatures for February’s forecast, and lows as low as 40 below. So, although I’m sure most of us can agree that last winter was generously mild, this years’ frigid winter doesn’t look like it will be for the faint of heart. But after all, it’s Marquette, so that’s to be expected.