Listen to the interview with Kari Fleegel, National Weather Service in Marquette
NEGAUNEE – Bitter cold once again is gripping the Upper Peninsula. The National Weather Service in Marquette says blowing snow will affect much of the U.P. especially across the Keweenaw Paninsula and east of Marquette.
M-28 was closed today between Marquette and Munising because of blowing snow.
Meteorologist Kari Fleegel says the wind is also causing windchill problems this morning.
“Temperatures for the most part are in the single digits below zero. There are a few areas colder than that but it’s really the strong winds that are having an effect and causing windchills of 25 to nearly 40 degrees below zero this morning,” she said.
The winds are expected to die down later today but then it will get cold.
“Overnight tonight in Escanaba we’re expecting temperatures to get to 18 below zero. It could be about 30 degrees below zero in a couple of spots near the Wisconsin border,” said Fleegel.
Fleegel says the cold is being brought down from the north and she says it doesn’t help that Lake Superior is nearly frozen.
Blowing snow and poor visibility closed a portion of U.S. 2 near St. Ignace yesterday afternoon. The Delta County Road Commission installed signs along U.S. 2 near Garden Corners to slow down traffic where a 16-vehicle pileup occurred last Friday. Blowing wind once again was causing poor visibility yesterday along the Lake Michigan shoreline.
Projected low wind chills were the reason that schools were closed today across the U.P. Gladstone and Rapid River School Superintendent Jay Kulbertis says they want to err on the side of caution.
“What we are seeing is some of the coldest air of the season moving in and that’s combining with pretty strong gusting 20 mph winds. That will give us sustained windchills right around the negative 30 mark,” Kulbertis said.
The concern is the possible danger is prolonged exposure if a bus or vehicle breaks down during the cold period.
“So just erring on the side of caution and keeping our kids safe we decided to close it down,” Kulbertis said.
There is also no school tomorrow but it is planned day off for an in-service day.
It will not warm up soon. Fleegel said the colder than normal temperatures will continue through next Wednesday.