February 28th-29th Winter Storm Review...Updated March 1st

On February 28th, 2012, a strong late winter low pressure system developed over the central Great Plains. Blizzard conditions occurred across South Dakota and tornadoes were reported from Nebraska to Illinios. By the early evening hours of the 28th, the system began to impact Upper Michigan. Heavy snow fell at times across much of Upper Michigan, with the largest totals occurring around the Michigan and Wisconsin border.

Below is a series of surface maps depicting the movement of the low pressure system across the central Great Plains and into the Upper Midwest. The images are every six hours from 1pm EST February 28th until 7pm EST February 29th.


The next series of images shows the progression of the heavy snow across Upper Michigan.

Snow started to fall across parts of Menominee County during the early evening hours of February 28th. By the early morning hours of the 29th (image A), a band of very heavy snow was situated over the Iron Mountain area and central Menominee County. Several reports from this area reveal that snow was falling at more than 2 inches per hour! The band then remained almost stationary over the next couple of hours (image B). The combination of high snowfall rates and the slow movement of this band allowed some locations to accumulate significant amounts of snow (6") over just a few hours.  By the mid-morning (image C), the band accelerated northward to a line from Baraga to Marquette. Snow rates continued at around 2 inches per hour for many locations. However, because the line of heavy snow was moving quicker by this point, much of the northern portions of Upper Michigan  were clear of the band by early afternoon (image D). This resulted in less amounts than what locations along the Michigan and Wisconsin border received. Lighter snow continued into the early evening across much of the area as the low pressure system passed south of the area and drier air moved in from the south and west.

A) 4am EST February 29th, 2012 B) 6am EST February 29th, 2012
C) 10am EST February 29th, 2012 D) 1pm EST February 29th, 2012


Here is a graphical summary of the storm total snowfall as of 2:30 PM March 1, 2012.


Here are the final amounts for select locations

Inches  Location                 County

------  -----------------------  --------------

 19.0   3 S Iron River           Iron

 17.3   2 SSE Norway             Dickinson

 13.8   2 WNW Ironwood           Gogebic

 13.0   1 SW Thousand Island La  Gogebic

 12.4   4 WNW Gladstone          Delta

 11.5   1 NW Garden Corners      Delta

 11.0   1 SW Gladstone           Delta

 10.5   3 SSE Rapid River        Delta

 10.0   1 NNE Watersmeet         Gogebic

 10.0   15 S Wetmore             Alger

 10.0   5 ENE Garden Corners     Schoolcraft

 10.0   9 W Ishpeming            Marquette

  9.7   7 NNW Ishpeming          Marquette

  9.5   1 S Manistique           Schoolcraft

  9.0   3 NE Negaunee            Marquette

  8.6   Chatham                  Alger

  8.0   3 W Point Aux Barques    Schoolcraft

  7.5   Amasa                    Iron

  7.2   4 NE Calumet             Keweenaw

  7.0   2 E Winona               Houghton

  6.7   2 W Ishpeming            Marquette

  6.5   1 WSW Marquette          Marquette

  6.3   2 ENE Sidnaw             Baraga

  6.0   Newberry                 Luce

  6.0   4 E Silver City          Ontonagon

  6.0   5 ESE Chassell           Houghton

  5.7   2 ESE Three Lakes        Baraga

  5.5   1 SSE Chatham            Alger

  5.5   1 ESE Marquette          Marquette

  5.0   4 SE Harvey              Marquette

  4.1   3 NNE Calumet            Keweenaw

  4.0   3 SSW Skanee             Baraga

  4.0   10 S Grand Marais        Alger

  3.8   3 NNW Snyder Lake        Alger

  3.7   1 WSW Munising           Alger

  3.1   1 E Copper Harbor        Keweenaw

  2.1   1 E Pelkie               Baraga


***Many thanks for all of the reports from our weather spotters and the public!***

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