In Northern Michigan, the weather is a frequent topic of conversation, especially in the winter. One common topic of winter conversations are the storms of winter’s past. There are many Michigan blizzards to recall.
One of the memorable blizzards was that of 1978. In January of 1978 more than two feet of snow blanketed the Little Traverse Bay in the course of only a few days. Snow drifts 25 feet high were formed by the winds that were in excess of 50 miles per hour. Some reports suggested winds had reached as high as 100 miles per hour. Local news channels reported that more than 100,000 cars were abandoned, and the blizzard claimed as many as 20 lives in the state. Kids enjoyed days without school, businesses had to close, and traffic came to a standstill. It was days before life returned to normal.
There are other monumental storms, including the blizzard of 1967. This storm dropped nearly two feet of snow in places like Flint, Saginaw, and Northern Michigan. Similarly to the storm of 1978, the winds amplified the snow, causing havoc and stranding motorists. Schools and businesses were crippled and forced to close.
More recently, though less intense, was the storm in April of 2018. April brought thawing and sunshine, which was a trick from mother nature. By the middle of April, heavy, wet snow had once again closed schools and slowed commerce. Emmet County saw more than a foot of heavy, wet snow in only two days. This was a reminder to all of us that winter is never predictable in Northern Michigan.