MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – The first snowfall in the U.P. is forecasted to happen early Friday morning. Although this event will be just a light dusting of snow in mostly the higher terrain areas and areas away from the lakes, the first snow is a good indication of when you need to start preparing for the heavier winter weather.

“Well obviously there’s a lot of things that we transition from summer to winter with regards to having safety kits in your car,” said Matt Zika, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, or NWS, in Marquette. “I’m sure that people, if they see a few snowflakes, they’ll be like Oh it’s time to start getting our snow tires on. All those are good things, finding your ice scraper, putting a kit in the back of your car and your trunk so that as we get into the middle part of the winter, if you do get stuck somewhere you’ll have blankets and things like that that can keep you safe until you can get out of harm’s way or wherever it is.”

Although snow is nothing new to most U.P. residents, it’s a good idea to check your winter supplies and your home before we see heavier snow. With heaters turning on and fireplaces being lit for the first time this season, it’s important to be cautious of house fires.

“We’ve had a few chilly mornings already, and you know, people have started to turn their heat on,” said Zika. “Obviously, and I saw some statistics from the Eastern U.P. the other day where actually they’re have already been a couple of house fires as people have started to burn in their wood fireplaces and things like that. So, I mean, make sure chimneys are clean and just be very cautious around, now that we are getting into our heating season, with stuff near heaters and fires and fireplaces and things like that.”

While you prepare your supplies and your house for the season, remember to keep in mind safe winter driving techniques as we start to see ice on the roads.

“The big thing for me is winter driving skills,” said Tom Kippen, the Chief Meteorologist at Local 3. “We haven’t had, we haven’t had to drive on snow and ice in what, 6 or 7 months now, and I know we’re Yoopers, I know we know how to drive in the snow, but as we get into some of our first icier roads of the season, it’s always good to remember to slow down, have your headlights on, and give yourself plenty of extra distance between you and the car in front of you. And, most important, give yourself plenty of time to reach point B from point A.”

If you would like to know more about building a winter weather supply kit for your car, you can find a list of helpful items on the NWS website here. This website has links to information about house fires and information about how to prepare for all weather events.

To keep up to date on weather, you can find our latest forecast, an interactive radar, and our weather livestream here.