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Spring Sun and Snow
by Michaeleen O'Sullivan, UPfirst feature writer
photos by Todd Carter, UPfirst photographer
Friday, April 11, 2008

Marquette, MI--Spring sun and snow in the Upper Peninsula serve up cozy warm breezes.  If you're lucky, you might catch a local skier swapping snow pants and goggles for shorts and sunglasses at the top of a beaming white ski slope.

On April 3, local skier Ron Ryoti, in shorts and ski boots (right), hugs his son Derek visiting from Raleigh, North Carolina, before they shove off for a standup run (hopefully!) on Marquette Mountain.

This year marks Ron's 50th anniversary of "spring skiing in shorts."  Ron said:  "Yep, at least once per year since 1958 (except when I was out of the area for a few years), I manage, at least one day per year, to ski in shorts, and now the pressure is off for this year."


Ron Ryoti (right) in shorts and ski boots
with visiting son Derek,
who learned to ski with MMRT in the 80's,
at Marquette Mountain April 3

We all know spring sun and warm breezes in the U.P. can change to blizzard at any time.  We rarely get through April in the Upper Peninsula without at least one major snow storm.

Last year about this time, beginning on April 4th, a 3-day blizzard dumped 28 inches of wet, heavy snow in the highlands of Marquette Township.


Morning calm in Marquette Township
after early April blizzard, spring 2007

As every good weather-watching Yooper already knows, blizzard warnings are up again for the Upper Peninsula right now.

According to our own TV6 Meteorologist Nick Kanczuzewski late last night, an April blast will bring gusty winds and 12 plus inches of heavy snow into our region today and tomorrow.

This morning at 9:00 am, the storm seemed to be calming from our view in Marquette Township (photo right), but according to The Weather Channel at 10:00 am, the low hasn't reached us yet, and Duluth is taking a pounding with 50 mph winds.

Schools are all closed today, including NMU, so unless you operate a plow for a living, it's a day (and maybe two) to stay off the roads if at all possible.

One more weekend of skiing in shorts and sunglasses?  Could be!  Marquette Mountain Newsletter just arrived, and Jesie says the hill will be open Saturday and Sunday.

But for today, time to hunker down and stay warm and safe, and hopefully, inside.


View from Forestville Basin
this morning at 9:00 am
This one's still comin' in....

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