TRAVERSE CITY — Shawna Linton flipped her scarf over her hair and shouldered into a cold west wind along Front Street while clumpy flakes of snow brushed her face.
“I’m ready for it,” Linton said Wednesday morning as a nearby handful of ill-prepared-for-winter window shoppers ducked into stores to take shelter from the snow squall. “I look forward to snow.”
Linton was unfazed by chilly weather that meteorologists called a “return to normal” after several years of unusually mild October weather.
“We are getting seasonally appropriate weather, no doubt,” said Scott Rozanski, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service office in Gaylord. “The weather is trending toward what it should have been the last three or four years. We haven’t seen snow in October in a little while, so it feels out of the norm.”
Snowfall reports during the past few days varied wildly — from little or none to a few inches that fell north of Gaylord in Vanderbilt, Rozanski said.
And the next week will bring several more chances for snow across northwest Michigan as a trough of cold air hovers over the region.
Snow and cold aren’t really abnormal for October and November, either. Depending on what reporting station’s data he recited, Rozanski spouted snowfall reports from October that ranged from about an inch to 13 inches that fell at South Boardman in 2006.
But a few mild fall stints seem to have thinned the skin of some northern Michiganders.
“It’s too early,” said Kim Marian, adding that her window scraper already is stashed in her trunk for the looming winter season.
A client she spoke with to near Long Lake reported almost enough snow fell there overnight to cover the grass, she said.
Marian dashed across Union Street through the squall dressed in tall rubber boots and a hood tightly pulled around her face.
“We got to the point there that we were taking a lot of calls here at the office asking where’s the snow?” Rozanski said. “The Grand Traverse Bay area can generally get between one inch and 15 inches in October. It’s really highly dependent on where you’re at.”
There is an end to the white in sight, Rozanski said.
Weather models produced by the Weather Service predict milder weather will move into the area by Halloween and will continue into the beginning of November.