GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — As of Thursday, Grand Rapids was on its eighth consecutive day with temperatures below freezing — and the trend will continue through this weekend.

During this span, the Great Lakes have become whiter and the ice thicker.

Here’s where we stand in terms of snow. Statewide, we’ve gained 23% snowcover with the Arctic air masses, most of that has been in lake-effect regions.

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:

Lower Peninsula

  • Grand Rapids: 6
  • Cadillac: 9
  • Ludington: 10
  • Houghton Lake: 6
  • Traverse City: 11
  • Kalkaska: 11
  • East Jordan: 15
  • Charlevoix: 24
  • Cheboygan: 10
  • Gaylord: 12
  • Lake City: 6
  • Petoskey: 7

Upper Peninsula

  • St. Ignace: 1
  • Soo: 25
  • Paradise: 27
  • Grand Marais: 32
  • Manistique: 11
  • Munising: 33
  • Marquette: 17
  • Houghton: 23
  • Calumet: 23
  • Iron Mountain: 12
  • Big Bay: 14

The forecast looks good into the weekend, with the cold holding the snowpack and a little more snow to freshen things up. Saturday will be mainly dry across the lower with pockets of sunshine. Light snow will break out across the Upper Peninsula.

Light snow will move through Saturday night with a weak clipper. Behind it lake-effect snow will develop with the typical northwest flow. It looks as if most locations will fall within the range of 1 to 4 inches.

Here is ECMWF model snow forecast:

And the GFS model snow forecast:

Arctic air will be in place Saturday, with low temperatures Saturday morning well below zero statewide. We’ll recover with highs hovering around 20.

Temperatures will be colder across the U.P. and slightly warmer across the central and southern Lower Peninsula. Fortunately, the wind will be light through the weekend; therefore, wind chills will be held in check.

Temperatures will be cold Sunday but the wind will be lighter.


January is discover Michigan Ski Month. Want to learn to ski or snowboard? This is the last week to take advantage of it. Everyone 7 years and older can learn during January at discounted rates.

SCHUSS: This is a direct statement from the web page: “With over a foot of new snow in the past week, we are experiencing the best conditions of the season.” Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday. All three terrain parks are open. The Alpine Tubing Park is open through the weekend 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. with 50 tubes per hour. This is Jason Woods, our promotions director, enjoying the slopes of Schuss last weekend:

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.

BITTERSWEET: 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: Fresh 5 inches of snow the past three days. 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 their slopes. Open Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

BOYNE MOUNTAIN: Fresh 8 inches of snow 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. 10/12 lifts are open servicing 49/60 trails.

BOYNE HIGHLANDS: Fresh 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: Fresh foot 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.


Get after it, sledheads! This is the best weekend so far this season.


In the game! Niles/Glennwood, Muskegon and White Cloud trail systems are decent with most trails rated in fair condition. The key is to stay west of US-131.


Baldwin is reporting a 1- to 2-inch base but it’s finally rideable. This is directly from Pete, who is an expert in the Cadillac area trail systems: “I would say 70% of trails are decent to good, but other areas, like corners and heavily covered places are still showing snirt and rocks. This powdery lake effect snow, just isn’t great for building a base for grooming.” This may change next week with the prospect of heavier, wetter system snow possible. More on this below.

I did the Boardman trail from Cadillac to Traverse City last weekend (picture above) for the first time and I would rate the trails fair to good. There has been additional snow since then and I’m sure they have improved. Thanks to Fox Powersports for demo opportunity with the awesome Ski Doo Renegade MXZ. I just a few there being unloaded from a semi last week getting ready for prep. Go check them out.

Gaylord, Indian River to Petoskey is looking good with a fresh groom on the Petoskey trails reported on the wooded loop and the railroad grade. With the recent snow, there’s less ice being reported in the corners. Finally nice to hear the base is enough for groomers to get out in spots.

Houghton Lake/Grayling, Lovells and Lewiston trails are reported as thin but rideable. Still not enough for the groomers to get out. Tip-Up-Town kicks of this weekend and there’s plenty of ice on Houghton Lake, Lower Michigan’s largest inland lake. My buddy and I rode the perimeter of it and put 25 miles on the odometer.


Every report is very good to excellent. Enough said.


Temperatures are forecast to finally go above the freezing by Tuesday of next week. The point forecast is Grand Rapids so northern Michigan’s temps will be colder.

The biggest complaint I’ve been hearing from snowmobile forums is that we need a heavy, system snow to really shore up the trails with a solid base. Well, that may happen next week. Here’s the 10-day snow forecast (10-1) from the GFS and European models. Where the magenta begins is 10 or more inches!

Whatever falls should stick around. Here’s latest 8- to 14-day temperature outlook:

Whatever does fall we should be able to retain. Check out the latest 8-14 day temperature and precipitation outlook. This is a good combo if you enjoy winter.

Hopefully this pans out as I will be heading north to explore the U.P. trails later next week/weekend. I’ll send back my reports.

The Snow Conditions Report is sponsored by Schuss Mountain at Shanty Creek Resort.