Snow Conditions Report: Jan. 24, 2020

Snow Conditions

It’s amazing what one good winter storm can do. Despite very little snow since last weekend’s storm, we are still hanging onto it. This is the most snow cover statewide that I’ve seen this winter so far. Currently, 96% of the state is covered with the white gold at an average depth of 11 inches.

Lower Michigan snow depth:

Northern Michigan snow depth:

Most locations across Northern Michigan have increased their snow depth from the previous weekend. Below is the Lower Michigan snow depth, in inches, as of Jan. 24:

  • Cadillac: 11
  • Traverse City: 10
  • Houghton Lake: 12
  • Kalkaska: 13
  • Lake City: 9
  • East Jordan: 15
  • Lewiston: 10
  • Charlevoix: 14
  • Gaylord: 14
  • Waters: 14
  • Cheboygan: 9
  • Petoskey: 8
  • Alpena: 8

Upper Michigan:

  • St. Ignace: 9
  • Soo: 15
  • Newberry: 31
  • Paradise: 24
  • Munising: 27
  • Marquette: 33
  • Big Bay: 17
  • Manistique: 21
  • Houghton: 23
  • Calumet: 43
  • Iron Mtn:. 21
  • Escanaba: 16
  • Painsedale: 51
  • Ironwood: 23

Strong storms the previous two weekends will be followed by a much weaker one this weekend. Unfortunately, temperatures will be hovering around or slightly above the freezing mark, therefore rain will mix in at times.

Precipitation Sunday should be lighter and more widely scattered.

Rain mixing in will keep snow amounts down.

Although I would like to the higher totals from the European model, I think the GFS model will be more representative of what will really fall.

As you might imagine with a mixed type of precipitation, temperatures will be semi-mild and quite uniform through the state this weekend.

Unfortunately for snow lovers, this milder temperature pattern will likely take us in to the first week of February, indicated by latest 8- to 14-day temperature outlook.

The weather pattern remains active with a Pacific flow of air likely dominating most of the time.

We can only hope that some of that will fall as snow. Not much is indicated with latest 10-day snowfall forecast from the European and GFS model through Feb. 2.

Once again, the European model is more aggressive with snow amounts.

I’m still holding out hope that the second half of winter will be colder and snowier than average. The latest CPC temperature forecast for February still indicates colder-than-average temperatures.

SKIERS: I’ll start with ski areas from south to north:

Bittersweet will be open this weekend with $5 off lift tickets for college students with college ID.
Cannonsburg is open with 9/22 slopes open with tubing hills, zip lines and fat tire bikes ready to ride.
Caberfae Peaks: 34 slopes and 4 lifts are open.
Crystal Mountain: All 58 slopes are ready to carve up with 7/8 lifts to bring you up them. If you are looking to chill afterwards, the Knuckleheads will provide live entertainment.
Schuss Mountain/Shanty Creek: 43/43 slopes are open and ready to take advantage of with 5/8 lifts open. At Shanty Creek, you can play a round of simulated golf after skiing at their TopGolf swing suite.
Boyne Mountain: 51/60 slopes are open including 7/12 lifts.
Nubs Nob: All 53 runs are open.
Boyne Highlands: 52/55 runs open including 8/10 lifts. You can catch a few events while you are there, including the Snow-Go Hot Cocoa Hustle Relay Race, the Cardboard Classic, Harbor Springs Chili cook-off and fireworks. Head ski will also demo their new downhill ski line-up.

The Kirkwood family was fortunate enough to get some ski and snowmobile time in last weekend. Here I am with my daughter, riding up “Amy’s” lift at Boyne Highlands. Check out the snow on my helmet/jacket. It was some of the heaviest snow I’ve skied in for quite some time.

The following day, I was able to get out onto the Jordan Valley trail with my son. All smiles in this picture next to the Jordan River.

Smiles changed to frowns when my son accidentally drove into this water hole on Trail 4 going to East Jordan. Be careful as the there’s a large rock that tries to kick you in the direction of the hole. Thanks to the eight people who stopped and helped. And yes, it nearly took all eight to get it out!


LOWER MICHIGAN: I chatted with a guy last weekend who rode some of the trails around the Wayland area, but I can’t vouch for them now. I checked the Baldwin and Cadillac area trails and they still remain in good shape with the exception of the railroad grades and a little thin near Bear Lake. Near the Grayling area, be aware that on Trail 47 behind fairgrounds there’s a 1.5-mile water hazard that they are trying to fix. Trail 7 is thin in spots south of M-72 along with M-93 north of Frederic. Indian River trails indicate they are not going to groom until they receive more snow, so trails may progressively get more bumpy as the weekend goes on. This will be the second weekend for Tip-Up-Town. Last weekend a few sleds and a couple vehicles cracked through the ice. BE CAREFUL. Robert Pollard does an amazing job detailing the ice conditions on Houghton Lake every day. You can find it on Facebook at Houghton Lakes ice reports & conditions.

UPPER MICHIGAN: Ken Perry reports that the Brimley area has “awesome” trail conditions with a report of 3 to 5 inches of fresh snow. The Bay is frozen over, too. Trails around Newberry are “great” but look out on Trail 9 south of Newberry, where there is a waterhole 3 miles south of M-28 at 4-Corners. The reports out of Paradise is just as encouraging as they are reporting “great” trails as well.

Whenever you need an update on snow depth, forecast snow amounts, short- and longer-range temperatures trends, you can always check out my Snow Conditions Report, which is posted every Friday throughout the winter season.


The Snow Conditions Report is sponsored by Jacobson Heating & Cooling and Schuss Mountain at Shanty Creek Resort.

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