Snow Conditions Report: Dec. 31, 2020

Snow Conditions

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Snow lovers in Michigan finally have a reason to celebrate: One last storm system in 2020 brought accumulating snow and it looks like we’ll start 2021 with the chance of a few more inches.

After Tuesday night’s storm system, Grand Rapids is up to 5.3 inches of accumulation’ for the season.

It was a step in the right direction, but there is still an impressive deficit. On average, we would have seen 28.4 inches’ at this point in the year. Last year, we had seen 15.7 inches’ at this point in the season. Our deficit for this year is still around 23 inches.  Muskegon has picked up 11 inches of snow this season which is around 23 inches below normal, and Kalamazoo is running 16.5 inches below normal with a season total of only 7.2 inches.

Even though we’re running far behind with snow, there is at least a small snowpack on the ground for most of the state. Grand Rapids still has about 3 inches on the ground and there’s about half a foot of snow on the ground for areas around and north of Fremont. The snowpack isn’t too impressive in northern Lower Michigan or the Upper Peninsula, but there is at least a minimum of 3 to 4 inches for most.

Another storm system will move in for New Year’s Day. This system will bring some more snow to portions of the state, though the snowfall totals won’t be as impressive as what we saw Tuesday night. Freezing rain and sleet will be likely with this system, especially south of I-96.

Even though we have a few chances for snow over the next 10 days, it doesn’t look like any major snowstorms are heading our way. The GFS forecast model shows less than 5 inches of snow for most of the Lower Peninsula through that time, and barely any snow at all in the U.P. The European model is in good agreement, but there is still time for things to change a bit.

Our forecast high temperatures for the weekend stay around the freezing mark, then next week will be a little bit warmer. The 8- to 14-day temperature outlook takes us into the second week of January, and it implies that temperatures will stay above normal. Keep in mind, our average high temperature for this time of year is in the low 30s. So even if our temperatures are warmer than normal by a few degrees, we can still see snow — it just might not stick around for long.

If you’re heading out to the slopes or trails this weekend, here’s what you can expect:

SKIING

Cannonsburg: Skiing and tubing is open. Tickets for tubing are only available on-site.

Bittersweet: All lifts are open. 17 of the 20 runs are currently open.

Caberfae: 33 slopes are currently open, as well as 5 lifts. Day tickets are sold out for January 1 and 2, but night tickets may still be available.

Crystal Mountain: Day lift tickets are sold out January 1 and 2. 29 out of 58 trails are open, and 7 out of 8 lifts are open.

Schuss Mountain/Shanty Creek: 34 of the 42 runs are open, and 7 of the 8 lifts are open.

Boyne Mountain: Lift tickets for day and night are sold out through January 2nd. 10 of 12 lifts are open and 27 of 60 trails are open.

Boyne Highlands: It’s recommended you buy tickets online since they may sell out. All lifts are open, and 27 of the 55 trails are open.

Nubs Nob: All runs, lifts, and the tow rope are open. The best cross country skiing is currently on the upper red trail.

SNOWMOBILING

Cadillac area: Trails have fresh snow on them and are mostly fair to good shape.

Traverse City area: Even with some fresh snow recently, the trails are still being reported as being icy and in poor shape.

Grayling area: Trails are in fair shape, still not much of a base.

Eastern Upper Peninsula: Mainly fair conditions are being reported.

Western Upper Peninsula: Conditions are fair to good, though not much snow is in the extended forecast.

Houghton Lake area: Fresh snow means the trails are now in good shape.

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Storm Team 8 meteorologist prepared this week’s snow conditions report as Matt Kirkwood is off on vacation. Here are some photos of him and his family at Boyne Highlands:

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The Snow Conditions Report is sponsored by Jacobson Heating & Cooling.

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