Snow Conditions Report: Jan. 31, 2020

Snow Conditions

Matt is off this week, so I (Emily Schuitema) am in charge of the snow conditions report!

The mild and quiet winter pattern has continued over the past week. Temperatures have steadily been in the low- to mid-30s, just a few degrees warmer than normal. West Michigan has picked up a few tenths of an inch of snow here and there, but with the mild temperatures and light rain/drizzle, our snow pack has slowly been dwindling away.

Here’s a look at the current snow depth across the region. Even though our snowpack in West Michigan isn’t very impressive, 94.6% of the northern Great Lakes are covered by snow. 

Here’s a look at the snow depth across lower and northern Michigan:

Most areas saw a decrease in snowpack over the past week, though there are some spots in the U.P that experienced a bit of an increase. Below are some snow depths from Lower Michigan, in inches, as of January 30, 2020. 

Cadillac: 7
Traverse City: 5
Houghton Lake: 8
Kalkaska: 10
Lake City: 6
East Jordan: 12
Charlevoix: 11
Gaylord: 13
Cheboygan: 4
Petoskey: 4
Alpena: 6

Here are some snow depths from the Upper Peninsula, also in inches as of January 30, 2019.

St. Ignace: 6
Sault St. Marie: 14
Newberry: 27
Paradise: 22
Munising: 28
Marquette: 38
Manistique: 15
Houghton: 25
Calumet: 52
Iron Mountain: 23
Escanaba: 13
Painesdale: 52
Ironwood: 32

We are running a pretty impressive deficit in snowfall totals across West Michigan. Grand Rapids is lagging behind normal by 16.2 inches and Kalamazoo is 18.2 inches below normal. Muskegon is behind the normal amount of snowfall by over two feet. 

There are a few chances of seeing light snow accumulation over the next week. Friday and Saturday will both feature chances for light snow, with some light rain possible at times on Saturday as well. Impacts from any snow will be minimal and won’t make a large contribution to our snowpack. 

There is the potential to see another system by the middle of next week. It currently looks as though precipitation would start in the form of rain or a mix on Tuesday, then transition over to snow late Tuesday into Wednesday. This is still several days away, and there’s plenty of time for things to change. 

These graphics compare the 10-day snowfall forecast from the GFS forecast model and the European forecast model. The GFS brings a bit more snow through central lower Michigan, while the U.P is forecast to generally see less than 3 inches over the next 10 days. The European model agrees by not bringing much snow to the U.P, but it also keeps snow accumulation down across lower Michigan. 

For all the winter lovers, there is still some hope that the second half of winter will bring colder temperatures and more snow. The Climate Prediction Center’s February Outlook is calling for colder-than-normal temperatures.

If you’re planning on being outside this weekend, expect temperatures to be warmer than normal. Temperatures should be in the mid- to upper 30s on Saturday, and mid- to upper 40s on Sunday. The warmer temperatures will certainly chip away more of the snowpack. 

Bittersweet Ski & Snowboard Resort: Open this weekend. College students with a valid I.D can get $5 off. 19/20 runs are currently open.
Cannonsburg Ski Area: Open this weekend. 9/21 runs are currently available. 
Caberfae Peaks Ski and Golf Resort: Open this weekend. 34 slopes and 4 lifts are currently available. 
Crystal Mountain: All trails are open and 7/8 lifts are currently open. Cross country ski trails are in good shape, and there’s even an ice skating rink open. 
Schuss Mountain/Shanty Creek: 42/43 slopes are currently open and 5/8 lifts are open. The White Pine Stampede takes place on Feb. 1. This is a cross country ski race that ends at Shanty Creek and raises funds for the the Children’s Hospital of Michigan. 
Boyne Mountain: 50/60 trails are open and 7/12 lifts are open. The Adgate Trophy race is happening on Feb. 1, and the 15th Annual Everett Kircher Cup is happening on Feb. 2. 
Nubs Nob: All runs are open, along with 5 lifts and the rope tow. 
Boyne Highlands: 48/55 trails are open, and 8/10 lifts are open. 4-for-1 day is on Sunday, Feb. 2 – you can get four tickets for the price of one! 

It’s been a goal of mine to go skiing this winter, and I finally made it happen this week! One of the perks of working the weekend is that you get random weekdays off, so I was able to go to Cannonsburg Ski Area early Tuesday afternoon when it wasn’t too busy and I didn’t have to worry about running into anyone while I re-learned how to ski. 

I don’t think I’ve been skiing since I was in elementary school and part of the ski club at Rockford Christian School. It felt great to get out there again! 

Matt is off on a snowmobiling adventure in the Upper Peninsula this week, and he can report that trails are amazing in the Keweenaw. It also looks like he was able to find some sunshine!

Matt at the Houghton/Hancock bridge:


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

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