2018-04-05 / Front Page

Weather roars with spring snowstorm

Snow total now above average
By Jen Murphy
of the Enterprise staff

If March ended as a lion, he never left.

And he let out a giant roar this week.

As a winter storm system wrapped up yesterday, total snowfall pulled about one-inch above the average for April 3 for previous years, with more of the white stuff predicted into the weekend.

The official Enterprise snow gauge — taken from a National Weather Service volunteer observer in Maple City — reads 139.1 inches. Fortunately for all but kids with sleds and snowplow drivers, the peninsula is still lagging far behind the record highest snowfall of 255.7 inches in 2014.

But the winter weather isn’t over.

According to National Weather Service of Gaylord, tomorrow may bring more flakes out of the sky.

Meteorologist Sabrina Jauernic said a spring warm-up will be slow to arrive, with a chance for additional snowfall both today and tomorrow.

All of that is good news to Leland resident Ron Hackleman. He entered the Leelanau Enterprise’s “Annual Snowfall Contest” with a prediction of 213.5 inches of snow.

“I thought this could be the year we could get heavy snow,” Hackleman said.

And while he doesn’t believe this year’s snowfall will line up for him to win a cash prize in the contest, he did place third in the contest several years ago.

Hackleman doesn’t mind. He’s a fan of the white stuff.

“It doesn’t bother me at all if it snows,” he said. “The good Lord just paints all the trees and shrubs and everything. It’s just the beauty of the snow.”

The heavy, wet snow that blanketed hillsides and roads Tuesday evening forced schools to close yesterday while plow trucks cleared the roads for commuters.

County Road Commission managing director Dan Wagner said his crews are ready to handle whatever else Mother Nature has in mind in the coming days.

“Our fleet is ready to roll should we get a big dump,” he said. “We have started a few things changing over our trucks, such as removing some of the wing plows, but it would not hamper our ability to react if necessary.”

So when will winter finally come to an end?

Jauernic said county residents should expect to see a slight warming trend begin “maybe” next week.

If residents feel temperatures are colder than the past, they’re right. But it could be worse. The record modern-day low temperature for April 3 in Maple City was 12 degrees in 1965. On Tuesday the temperature “only” dipped to 26.

High daily temperatures are predicted to remain in the 30s at least through Tuesday.

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