Winter might finally arrive in mid-Michigan.
After a mild winter with little snow accumulation, snow showers are expected throughout the weekend, coupled with low temperatures, which may lead to some accumulation, according to the National Weather Service.
“This winter has been quite unusual; one of the least snowy on record,” said Brandon Hoving, NWS meteorologist and Central Michigan University alum.
Hoving said mid-Michigan usually receives around 10 to 12 inches of snow per month, but it has only seen an average of nine inches of snow during the entire winter season so far.
“The perception is this winter has been quiet. We are looking at more active patterns next week,” he said.
Temperatures are also expected to be colder than normal, Hoving said.
CMU meteorology professor Marty Baxter said it is hard to say if Mount Pleasant weather will return to normal conditions, but agrees it will feel like winter in upcoming days.
“We are low on snowfall, just like we were last year at this time,” Baxter said. “In the near term, it looks like it will get really cold next week, which increases the likelihood we will get snow.”
Michigan winters last longer than in his native state of Missouri, he said.
“It can get cold there, but less snow and we have more sunshine. The winter doesn’t last nearly as long; we just wait for it to get warm again in March,” Baxter said. “Here, it doesn’t get warm until May.”
Sue Ann Kopmeyer, director of Isabella County Parks and Recreation Commission, said this year’s attendance at the parks is about the same as last year, despite low snow totals.
“People have been skiing, and people have been able to sled. Now (that) it’s a bit chillier, I hope we will get some snow for our poor cross-country skiers,” Kopmeyer said.
Deerfield Nature Park, 2425 W. Remus Rd., deemed Isabella County’s own winter wonderland, is the place to be once the flurries are landed, she said. Ski conditions are reported to be fair, though trails have not been groomed yet.
The weather has not affected the county park system since people still come out to enjoy the outdoors when it is warmer, but Kopmeyer said it would be nice to get more snow.
The Mount Pleasant Riverwalk Trail has seen an increase in visitors because of nicer temperatures, said Chris Bundy, director of Parks and Public Spaces.
“Overall, I think Michigan is seeing warmer temperatures, and it is affecting people’s habits for outdoor activities,” he said.
However, people are adaptable, he said, especially outdoor types.
“It doesn’t matter what the weather is; people will run or walk,” Bundy said.