Category Archives: Weather

November snowfall record broken in the Sault

After being bombarded by lake effect snow for nearly two weeks non-stop, meteorologists say Sault Ste Marie has broken its November snowfall record.

The record was originally set in 1989 at nearly 47 inches.

Dave Lawrence is a meteorologist from the Gaylord National Weather Service. He says this amount of snowfall is unprecedented for the Sault in this short amount of time.

“Ya know I think the only interesting thing is that they’ve seen 56.8 inches for the month and their entire season average snowfall is just over 120 inches. So that really puts it into perspective, ya know in an average season we’d see 50 inches spread out over three months instead of two weeks.”

The new record has bested the previous one by a solid 10 inches.

Michigan energy appraisal estimates lower bills

The state says its bi-annual energy appraisal shows that residents will have a bit more money in their pockets this Winter.

Judy Palnau is a media specialist with the Michigan Public Service Commission. She says although unit price has risen for natural gas users, overall they should be paying less.

“Bills will be going down despite the fact that natural gas prices per unit are expected to be up. Last year was actually the reverse. We were paying an 11-year low per unit of natural gas, but because we were using so much more of it to keep warm, many people saw their bills actually go up, despite the lower price.”

Palnau says the estimate is based on the assumption that Michigan will have a return to normal winter weather this year.

We spoke to the National Weather Service office in Gaylord. Their meteorologists say Michigan will likely see a slightly colder than normal winter, however it will be nowhere near as cold as last year’s Polar Vortex.

The MPSC says even if Michigan has another remarkably cold Winter, there is enough energy stored to avoid a crisis.

Rising cost of salt could bust road budgets this winter

POTHOLE08_SU_C_^_SUNDAY

The rising cost of salt could be a budget-buster for road agencies this coming winter.

“It’s a simple supply-and-demand situation, obviously, and we went through a ton of salt, all agencies across the state and the upper Midwest because of last year’s winter,” says Jeff Cranson of the Michigan Department of Transportation. “And we anticipate this year, we’re going to have another pretty rough winter and, now, we know going into it that salt prices are going to be up.”

Cranson says the cost of salt is about 50 percent more than last year. Cranson says the state and local road agencies used 656 thousand tons of salt last winter. The same amount would cost about $40 million today.

He says history suggests it could be years before the cost of road salt goes down. He says it’s one more reason the state needs to come up with more road revenue.

Governor Rick Snyder is pressing the Legislature to approve a package to raise more than a billion dollars for roads.

MDOT is looking to make roads safer with “Road Watchers”

Winter can be rough on northern Michigan roads, and a new program aims to keep drivers safe this winter.

The Michigan Department of Transportation Is looking for what they call “Road Watchers” who would rate driving conditions in the Upper Peninsula. Read more