Dreaming of a white Easter?

Late-season snow should stay away from holiday

News Photo by Crystal Nelson Jerry Letourneau clears the driveway of his home on Beebe Street Monday morning after an April snowstorm dropped up to 7 inches of snow on the Alpena area.

ALPENA — No records were broken in a mid-April snowstorm that passed through the Alpena area Sunday afternoon and tapered off early Monday morning.

The storm dropped 6.6 inches of snow at the Alpena Regional Airport, bringing the total seasonal snowfall to 99.3 inches, according to the National Weather Service in Gaylord. The amount of snowfall is higher than Alpena’s seasonal average of 84.3 inches.

Mother Nature did not treat the region equitably.

Meteorologist Tim Locker said 2.9 inches of snow was recorded a few miles south of Alpena, 3.5 inches of snow was recorded in Ossineke, and about 8.1 inches of snow was recorded two miles north of Harrisville.

“It was a low-pressure system that originated in the Mississippi River Valley area and drew dust, moisture up into the system, and because we had that cold air to the north, we received a swath of snow basically from northern Illinois through northern Michigan,” he said.

The snow was enough for Alpena Public Schools and Alcona Community Schools to call off school on Monday. The Alpena Senior Citizens Center, and its Meals on Wheels delivery service, was also closed and canceled for the day.

John VanWagoner, superintendent of Alpena Public Schools, said school was canceled primarily due to the volume of snow on the district’s back roads. As of 5 a.m., the back roads between Ossineke and Hubbard Lake were not plowed and had between 10 and 12 inches of snow.

“There was just a real concern of kids, staff, and buses of making it through the country roads,” he said.

VanWagoner said the snow day is another the district will have to make up. The last day of the school was originally scheduled for June 7, but VanWagoner said that date could be pushed back as much as two weeks.

District officials are waiting to announce the last day of school until state legislators decide whether they will forgive snow days that were canceled during a state-declared emergency early this year.

Locker said the storm was the northern end of the low-pressure system that moved through the Midwest and South.

Strong storms, including at least one tornado, swept through parts of the Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic region on Sunday and into Monday, damaging homes and businesses and causing injuries, according to the Associated Press. The storms came one day after storms in the South unleashed more than a dozen confirmed tornadoes and flooding and killed at least eight people.

Locker said rain is expected to return to the area on Wednesday and Thursday, although temperatures will continue to warm gradually throughout the work week. He said temperatures are expected to remain around 50 degrees on Friday and Saturday.

Weather for Easter Sunday is expected to be mostly sunny, he said, also with a high near 50 degrees.

Crystal Nelson can be reached at cnelson@thealpenanews.com or 989-358-5687.