GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — This extended reprieve from winter has been difficult to digest for snow enthusiasts but there are solid signals that snow and cold will return soon.
The warmth has been remarkable so far this January. This is the first time we’ve begun the first 20 days of January without a high temperature below 32 degrees, or in other words, below freezing in Grand Rapids. No days so far this month have been below average.
As a result, we’ve had remarkably little snow for being in the heart of winter.
It’s incredible that we are still over 26 inches above average in terms of snowfall this season and nearly 20 inches beyond last year.
No question the warmth and lack of snow has taken its toll. Great news, the system Thursday blanketed Northern Michigan with a heavy, wet snow. Marquette received record setting snow of 13.6 inches!
Cooler, not colder, temperatures will ease into the Great Lakes this weekend. Saturday will be dry besides a few stray flurries but a weak system will provide parts of Lower Michigan with a dusting to and inch of snow.
Once again this weekend temperatures will be will be quite tolerable, with highs throughout the state in the 30s and a few 20s in the Upper Peninsula.
For the first time in a while, we’ll be adding snow this upcoming week as opposed to melting it. Both the GFS and European model show a decent amount of snow in the forecast through the final weekend of January even across southern Michigan.
I mentioned in my previous report that there are signs the pattern will finally return to more winter like conditions. The snowfall forecast above hints at that and so does the temperature forecast for the end of the month.
The CMS has 99% of the nation with below-average temperatures for late January through Groundhog Day.
The GFS temperature forecast has the first intrusion of Arctic air arriving since around Christmas.
Of course this is good news for ski resorts and snowmobilers.
Despite the warm temperatures of late, ski resorts across the northern Lower Peninsula are open and ready for you. The good news is that temperatures will be sufficiently cold enough at night to make snow.
Schuss Mountain / Shanty Creek Resort: Open Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. with 32/42 runs open and 5/7 lifts.
Cannonsburg: Open Friday and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Should be an excellent weekend for tubing also with rates at $25.
Bittersweet: Open Friday 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. with 6 runs open.
Timber Ridge: Open Friday 3 p.m. with the Double #1 and Triple open.
Crystal Mountain: 47/59 runs are open serviced by 7/8 lifts. Hours are 9 a.m. to 9 pm. Friday and Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Caberfae Peaks: Open Friday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with 4 lifts servicing 24 runs. You can check out Shaggy’s Copper Country ski demo from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Boyne Mountain: Open Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with 34/63 runs open serviced by 7 lifts.
Boyne Highlands: Open Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 9/10 lifts 43/53 trails.
Nub’s Nob: Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (break between 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.). 100% runs open with 5 lifts.
Tree Tops Resort: Open Friday thru Sunday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. 2 lifts servicing 18 runs.
Snowmobilers: The weekend looks good with a fresh, heavy-wet snow falling Thursday, with some reports setting records. Most locations across the U.P. received 5 to as much as 15 inches of snow. Just what the doctor ordered. Reports prior to the snow for Trail 9 North, 9/2 South, 498, 452/453, Trail 8 to Paradise and Pine Stump were all reporting fair to good trail conditions. South of Paradise it’s soggy around the swamp area. As a result, groomers in and around Paradise have stopped grooming for the past week but will resume when temperatures cool.
This is the third consecutive year in a La Nina pattern and this typically means a pullback or winter thaw at times. The latest 8- to 14-day temperature outlook is an example of that pull back.
The Snow Conditions Report is sponsored by Schuss Mountain at Shanty Creek Resort.