GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — We are past the mid-point of winter, so take advantage of the snow while you can. It’s a tough forecast after this weekend but there are signs warmer temperatures are on the way for next week.
Here’s where we stand in terms of snow heading into this weekend:
Here’s snow amounts across the state beginning with southern Lower Michigan:
Snow depths for northern Michigan:
Here are a few snow depths, with nearly every location statewide improving its amounts:
- Grand Rapids: 5
- Cadillac: 7
- Ludington: 6
- Houghton Lake: 8
- Traverse City: 6
- Kalkaska: 9
- East Jordan: 12
- Charlevoix: 9
- Gaylord: 10
- Petoskey: 5
- St. Ignace: 1
- Soo: 22
- Paradise: 27
- Grand Marais: 38
- Manistique: 19
- Munising: 35
- Marquette: 18
- Houghton: 26
- Calumet: 31
- Iron Mountain: 11
- Escanaba: 5
Analyzing the recent snow depths, the slogan “the rich get richer” comes to mind. Nearly all locations across lower Michigan lost snow while the U.P. gained. What will likely be the last round of Arctic air for a while will blanket the Great Lakes this weekend, leading to the addition of mostly light snow amounts.
A northwest wind will lead to classic lake-effect on the western Lower Peninsula and across the U.P.
A weak wave may move through Sunday, providing the southern Lower Peninsula with light snow.
Most of Michigan will fall between 1 to 6 inches of snow this weekend, with lake-effect areas receiving the bulk of it. Here is ECMWF model snow forecast:
And the GFS model snow forecast:
Bundle up, as it will be another weekend with Arctic air in place.
A brisk northerly breeze will place wind chill temperatures in the frigid category, especially across northern Michigan.
It will still be cold Sunday but the wind will be lighter.
SCHUSS: Over 100 inches of snow has fallen over the beautiful slopes of Schuss Mountain and Shanty Creek resorts so far this season, with a fresh 5 inches the past three days and more to arrive this weekend. This continues to lead to excellent skiing conditions whether you’re taking it easy on Mellow Yellow or challenging yourself on Blue Ski Doo or the remainder of the 42 slopes that are open. Take advantage of their discounted lift ticket rates Sundays at Schuss. From noon to close, you get a full-access lift ticket, rental equipment and a station-by-station lesson for just $39.
TIMBERIDGE: 5 inches of new snow this past week has everything looking great. Skiing is open with the Double1 and Double2 along with the Triple chairlifts running Friday 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tubing is open Friday 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Don’t forget to take advantage of 9 full lanes of tubing fun as well.
BITTERSWEET: Should be another great weekend for skiing. Open Friday 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
CANNONSBURG: Cannonsburg will be open on Friday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tubing (reservations only) is open Friday 12 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
CABERFAE: Over 70 inches of snow this season and 30 slopes open has kept Caberfae in the game with great skiing. Open Friday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 9 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
CRYSTAL: 7/8 lifts are open servicing 100% of slopes. Open Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
BOYNE MOUNTAIN: A fresh 7 inches of snow this past week with more to come. Open Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. 10/12 lifts are open servicing 51/60 trails.
BOYNE HIGHLANDS: A fresh half-foot of snow has fallen this past week. Open Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. 8/10 lifts are open servicing 100% of runs.
NUB’S NOB: A fresh 6 inches of snow has fallen this past week. All lifts and slopes are open Friday through weekend from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. so groomers can freshen up slopes and resuming again at 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
SOUTHERN LOWER MICHIGAN
Last week’s storm finally put extreme southern Michigan in the game, but but recent temps above freezing will lead to less than ideal conditions. My suggestion is to head north.
Not good. Although you can get away with riding the snowbelt areas of Kalkaska, Mancelona, East Jordon and Gaylord the best riding will be found on the other side of the bridge. The base is so thin there’s been very little grooming. The best trail reports are up around Indian River where they say there’s enough snow your sled shouldn’t overheat. If you enjoy vintage sleds, check Fast Eddie’s vintage snowmobile show and racing on East Bay this weekend on Houghton Lake.
Good to very good conditions are being reported. I was up there the previous weekend and the north-south trails of 41/43/45/413/440 were in great condition. Trail 8 was shot in many areas around the Bear Trap heading from Shingleton to Munising. It didn’t help that they were down a groomer. Trail 45/440 to Seney was fantastic along with 45/413 (my new favorite) from Shingleton to Manistique. It got a little snirty and bumpy in as you got within the Manistique city limits but that’s par for course. Below is me on Trail 45. Notice how smooth it is.
It helps to have good trail conditions but it’s also important to have a snowmobile that brings out the best in them. Thanks to Fox Powersports for letting me demo this amazing Ski Doo MXZ Renegade 850!
My co-worker Christine Kelso and her husband were up there earlier this week. This is a picture of her on what I believe is Trail 440 out of Seney. She loved that trail, too.
A tough forecast is ahead for mid- to later parts of next week, which has the chance to benefit certain areas of Michigan with a heavy wet snow. Of course, this far out, there are model discrepancies.
The ECMWF model (left) has a weaker low that is further south while GFS (right) has a deeper low that tracks further north. If the GFS model is correct, this would result in the potential of more snow wherever that may fall.
There’s two things that melt snow very quickly: warm temps and rain. It appears this is likely for at least southern lower Michigan for next week.
The 8- to 14-day temperature outlook doesn’t bode well for snow here or anywhere else in the country. It’s the first time I’ve seen it without any below-average temperatures this winter.
President’s Day weekend is around the corner and huge one for winter sports, so please stay tuned for further updates on WOOD TV8 on air and online, as there will no doubt changes to the intensity of next week’s storm system and shifts to the track.