GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Meteorological winter has arrived and that means it’s time to kick off the weekly Snow Conditions Report.
It’s no question the historical snow we received during the middle of the month (three consecutive days with 7 inches or more) got every snow lover excited. At one point, 87% of the state was covered with snow with a record November snow depth of 10 inches in Grand Rapids.
But as is typically the case for early season snow, it has melted:
Another windy system will plow through Friday night into Saturday but will not bring much snow. Here’s a look at the weekend snowfall forecast from the European and GFS models. I think the European model is overdone in Southwest Michigan but correct up north.
What the early-season snow achieved was to kick-start the skiing season. It’s been cold enough that resorts were able to take what Mother Nature blessed them with and pump more on top of that with their snow machines. As result let’s check to see who is open this weekend.
Schuss Mountain / Shanty Creek Resort: Open this weekend, Dec. 3-4
Bittersweet Resort: TBD
Cannosburg: Not this weekend but plans are for the weekend of Dec. 16 through 18.
Crystal Mountain: Open Dec. 2 through 4 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Daily lift operations are expected to begin Dec. 9.
Caberfae Peaks: Open this weekend, Dec. 3 and 4, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Dec. 11, it will host a lift party for the new East Park Lift.
Boyne Mountain and Highlands: Open this weekend, Dec. 2 through 4, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Nubs Nob: Open this weekend, Dec. 2 through 4 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Tree Tops Resort: Open this Saturday, Dec. 3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Snowmobilers: Not yet. But it does appear this December looks more promising than previous ones. Let’s take a look at why Storm Team 8 thinks that this will be the case.
An average December brings Grand Rapids just under 22 inches of snow. You can see the past four years have been much below that. However, we think this December will be snowier.
One significant reason is that the Northern hemisphere snow pack is extensive.
It’s actually at a 56-year high. Sustaining that widespread snow means the Northern hemisphere is quite cold and will likely remain that way.
The 8- to 14-day temperature outlook for the second week of December has the cold seeping south across the northern U.S., including the Great Lakes region. This will certainly help add to the snowpack.
The latest monthly outlook from NOAA has a similar temperature outlook and should put a smile on anyone’s face who enjoys winter activities.
Even though the precipitation outlook appears a little meager, keep in mind with the below average temperatures projected that it will likely lead to increased periods of lake-effect snow.
The European weeklies currently support this colder idea and would suggest an excellent chance of a white Christmas across the Great Lakes. Colder- to much colder-than-average temperatures are indicated around Christmas and leading up to the new year.
This is the third consecutive year in a La Nina pattern and this typically means a pullback or winter thaw at times. So per usual, there will be varying conditions expected throughout the winter and I will cover these changes each week in my Snow Conditions Report. Stay tuned.