GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — This Snow Conditions Report puts a smile on my face. It’s basically winter starting all over again — or at least the second phase of it.
The 2 to 6 inches of widespread snow that fell Wednesday and heavy lake-effect in narrow band south of Grand Rapids. We are just few inches away from our annual snowfall average and we still have the last weekend of January and all of February and March to go. Could this end up being a 100-inch season?
The heaviest snow he past couple of days was mostly across central and southern lower Michigan. The state is 100% covered with snow, with an average depth of 8.5 inches. Here’s the latest in terms of statewide snow cover:
As we head into the weekend, we will only add to these amounts. A clipper will arrive Friday and a system snow will roll through Saturday and Saturday night.
The clipper Friday will place the heaviest snow from US-131 to the lakeshore, especially Grand Rapids and Muskegon to the north. Saturday’s system will give areas near I-96 the best chance of snow. The concern now is whether or not we see rain mixed in up to the I-96 corridor that some models are suggesting. This would obviously bring totals down. As it of Friday morning it appears there will be a significant range between 1-6″ with this system with the half foot amounts likely just north of I-96.
The best part of all: The snow will stick around for the foreseeable future with no temperatures forecast above freezing.
If you plan to ski or snowmobile Friday, the wind will be rather strong, creating some blowing ad drifting. Wind gusts statewide will be near 30 mph. This will present a bit of a challenge for those who are hauling snowmobile trailers.
The wind will die down considerably for the weekend with semi-comfortable temps to enjoy the snow outside. Highs both days will be in the mid- to upper 20s with a fairly light wind.
The 8-14 day temperatures won’t be bitter cold but still lean towards colder than average.
Skiers, bring those goggles. It will be snowing much of the time. The cold temperatures will mean resorts can make snow whenever they want, so all resorts are a solid go.
Schuss Mountain / Shanty Creek Resort: Open Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with 32/42 runs open and 5/7 lifts. Tubing hours are Friday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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. Cannonsburg is hosting a “Pray for Snow” party Saturday between 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. with food and live music. I think it’s going to work.
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 eight runs open. Out of all the ski resorts, it appears Bittersweet and Timber Ridge have a chance to receive the most snow this weekend. That will likely open more runs and the possibility of skiing in powder.
Timber Ridge: Open Friday 3 p.m. and Saturday at 10 a.m. Seven runs are open with the Double #1 and Triple lift open. With lots of snow expected more runs are likely to open this weekend.
Crystal Mountain: 487/59 runs are open serviced by 6/8 lifts. Hours are 9 a.m. to 9 pm. Friday and Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
**The Crystal Clipper lift will be out of service through the weekend for repairs. My wife and I were up there the previous weekend when it was broken and it really wasn’t that much of an inconvenience. The shuttle service worked well to bring any skiers to the back of the resort to access those slopes.
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 four lifts servicing 24 runs.
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 54/63 runs open serviced by eight 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. 7/10 lifts 50/53 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 five lifts.
Tree Tops Resort: Open Friday thru Sunday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Two lifts servicing 19 runs. Extreme tubing 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Southern Lower Michigan trail conditions: The trails will be better over the Muskegon trail system and the Wayland Area and Niles/Glenwood trail system then over Northern Lower Michigan for the time being. It is looking good for this weekend with the decent lake-effect Thursday night, clipper snow Friday and system snow Saturday and Saturday night. Depending on where the rain-snow line sets up, the best riding across Lower Michigan may very well end up in Central and Southern Lower Michigan.
Northern Lower Michigan trail conditions: Not the best, but trail conditions are doable in and around Cadillac and they will continue to improve, albeit slight, later Friday. Bad timing for Tip-Up-Town this weekend as the ice is sketchy. Best ice report to be found is Robert Pollard on Facebook. In terms of snowmobiling around Grayling and Houghton Lake, it’s not rideable yet.
Eastern U.P. snowmobile trail conditions: A nice base of 15 to 20 inches of snow and cold air is a great recipe. Checking out the latest report from Chris and Julie, Trail 9 North, 9/2 South, 498, 452/453, Trail 8 to Paradise and Pine Stump were all reporting good to great trail conditions. Consistent cold temps have resulted in the swampy area south of Paradise finally freezing over nicely outside of a couple small spots. Arctic air moving in this upcoming week should do the trick in freezing over the remainder. Groomers have struggled around the Curtis area but things are being resolved so trails should consistently be better in the near future.