A powerful winter storm hit Northeast Michigan on Friday night, leaving behind a significant amount of snow. The region saw an accumulation of 12 to 15 inches, causing hazardous driving conditions and multiple vehicle wrecks. Additionally, over 4,500 customers experienced power outages as a result of the storm.
A blizzard warning was issued early Friday and was expected to last through Saturday evening. However, the National Weather Service downgraded it to a hazardous weather outlook by late Saturday morning. On Sunday, accumulating lake-effect snow swept across the area.
According to meteorologist Jim Keysor from the National Weather Service office in Gaylord, there are two determining factors that differentiate between a storm and a blizzard. The first is when visibility drops below one-quarter of a mile, and the second is when winds reach speeds of 30 miles per hour or higher.
The weekend weather failed to maintain consistent conditions for at least three hours. “Presque Isle and Alpena experienced periods of reduced visibility over the weekend,” according to Keysor. There may have been occasional fluctuations, but maintaining consistency has proven to be challenging. The winter storm was described as very strong.
Meteorologist Jim Keysor from the National Weather Service office in Gaylord explains that there are two key factors that distinguish a storm from a blizzard. There are two conditions to be aware of: one is when visibility decreases to less than one-quarter of a mile, and the other is when winds pick up to speeds of 30 miles per hour or more.
In a surprising turn of events, the weekend weather proved to be quite unpredictable, with conditions changing frequently over the course of at least three hours. Keysor reported that Presque Isle and Alpena encountered instances of decreased visibility during the weekend. Consistency has proven to be a challenge, with occasional fluctuations. A powerful winter storm swept through the area.
In Northeast Michigan, a significant amount of snowfall was reported from Presque Isle County to Harrisville. However, as the storm moved towards southern areas of Michigan, a mix of rain and snow was observed.
The winter storm that slammed Northeast Michigan Friday night through Saturday morning caused several vehicle wrecks throughout the area and knocked out power to more than 4,500 customers as it dumped several inches of snow blown and drifted by high-speed winds. According to the police, none of the accidents resulted in serious injuries. However, there were several instances of vehicles sliding off the road and rolling over.
According to reports from Alpena Power Co.’s outage map and a news release from the Presque Isle Electric and Gas Co-op, power had been mostly restored by Saturday afternoon. Several outages were reported in the southern areas of Alpena.
Officials from Presque Isle Electric and Gas Co-op have reported that there is currently one remaining location that continues to be affected by power outages since the weekend. However, it is worth noting that this particular outage only began yesterday. All power disruptions are expected to be resolved by the close of business today.
Alpena Power Co. officials have confirmed that all outages caused by the recent storm have been resolved, ensuring that affected residents are now back to normal.
Following the events, residents of Northeast Michigan diligently cleared snowdrifts, some reaching several feet in height, in order to restore normalcy to their lives. The National Weather Service office in Gaylord is currently compiling all of Northern Michigan’s weather data from the weekend onto one document.