GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Presidents Day weekend typically represents an extra long weekend for families to have fun in the snow, but while Wednesday’s rain and warmth may have felt good, it was not good for winter sports.
Earlier this week, 96% of Michigan was covered with snow. By Thursday morning, it was down to 60%, with lower Michigan taking the biggest hit. Ouch!
Snow depths for northern Michigan:
The big melt took out most of the usable snow across lower Michigan. The Upper Peninsula is holding strong especially along the Lake Superior snowbelt regions. Here are snow depths:
- Grand Rapids: 0
- Cadillac: 1
- Ludington: 2
- Houghton Lake: 2
- Traverse City: 6
- Charlevoix: 6
- Gaylord: 7
- Alpena: 3
- St. Ignace: Trace
- Soo: 23
- Paradise: 28
- Grand Marais: 40
- Manistique: 17
- Munising: 32
- Marquette: 19
- Houghton: 26
- Calumet: 26
- Escanaba: 3
Southern lower Michigan will go through snow replacement with Thursday’s snow. A clipper Friday night will roll though northern Michigan, providing a light refresh up there. If you are heading north, roads will become slippery Friday evening.
A few remaining light snow showers and flurries will skirt the Straits of Mackinac and eastern U.P. Saturday, otherwise the remainder of the state will remain dry.
A cold front will arrive Sunday with light amounts of snow across the U.P.
The deep blue across the southern portion of the state is the snowfall from the Thursday-Thursday night system. The rest of the snow will fall Friday night through the remainder of the weekend. Below is the ECMWF model forecast.
And the GFS model snow forecast:
No question Saturday will be the colder of the two days. Highs will be in the teens across the Northern tier of the state with 20s south.
A brisk wind Saturday will place wind chills below zero across most of the state.
A warm front will move through Saturday night, with warmer temperatures Sunday. Highs in the 40s will melt more snow, especially across southern Michigan.
SCHUSS: All runs are open this weekend with more snow expected to fall. Presidents Day weekend is a very busy weekend therefore you can only purchase tickets in person. I was talking with the Chris Hale, marketing director of Shanty Creek Resorts, and he wanted me to pass along that all resorts will be very busy this weekend. If you are not able to make it up this weekend, don’t forget about spring skiing. He mentioned that March can bring some of the best skiing, as slopes are typically not as busy and rates are generally cheaper for lodging and lift tickets. The family and I plan to hit the slopes for the first time this year, so say hello if you see me.
TIMBERIDGE: A fresh blanket of snow will help with Wednesday’s snowmelt. 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: A fresh blanket of snow has fallen. Take advantage of it through Saturday and more melting will occur Sunday. 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: Snow is expected Friday night that will help with Wednesday’s snowmelt. 4 lifts are open servicing 30 slopes. 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. Special note: “If you have not already secured downhill rental equipment, please visit your local ski shop. Our ski and snowboard rentals for walk-up guests are already sold out for the holiday weekend.” Open Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
BOYNE MOUNTAIN: Snow and cold return this weekend. 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: More snow arriving Friday night. 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: 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
Nothing melts snow faster than warm temperatures accompanied with rain. As we observed Wednesday, that combination came together and has effectively made trails unrideable. Depending how much snow falls overnight Thursday a few trails might be rideable towards Paw Paw and the Niles/Glennwood trail system near Dowagiac.
Ugh! We just can’t get consistent enough snow to stick and build across Northern Lower. As I mentioned above, a clipper will roll though Friday night with 1 to 3 inches, but this will not be enough. Go across the bridge and you will be rewarded.
Trail reports remain good across much of the Eastern U.P. despite going above freezing for awhile Wednesday. With the trails shot in the Lower Peninsula and the holiday weekend, the issue will be traffic volume in the U.P. More traffic means a quicker deterioration of the trails. Side note: Grand Marais has a groomer down so it might be a little rough around Pine Stump.
It seems we are in a pattern where incoming storms can’t decide on a dominate type of precipitation. The next one on the horizon will present another wintry mix for Monday night into Tuesday.
Here’s the ECMWF (left) and GFS (right) model interpretation of the next storm system for next Tuesday.
I like to end with the medium-range temperature outlook, as it gives us hint of whether we have a better chance of maintaining the snow. It appears it does get colder than average again for later this month.