Midwest Daily Snow

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Spring Skiing Saturday


Saturday will bring spring skiing-like conditions to much of the Midwest with some locations seeing mid-50s for highs. Sunday brings mainly rain to southern portions of the Midwest. Thankfully, snow returns to the forecast Monday through Wednesday.

Short Term Forecast

Opening Day Forecasts & Forecast Saturday-Tuesday:

Cascade Mtn, Saturday - Spring-like conditions with abundant sunshine, highs around 55, winds 10-20 mph. 

Buena Vista, Saturday - Mix of sun and clouds, highs in the upper 30s, winds 10-20 mph. 

Saturday will bring spring-like conditions across the Midwest with highs ranging from the upper 30s to the mid-50s with most locations seeing sunshine much of the day. 

Saturday night into Sunday an area of mainly rain will move northeast into southern Wisconsin and lower Michigan. Some snow may mix in at areas like Bittersweet during the day on Sunday, but most of the precipitation will fall as rain.

Over to the east at Mt. Holly, Pine Knob, and Alpine Valley (MI), look for rainfall accumulations to range from .5-1" of rain. A few flakes or sleet may mix in at times, but it will mostly be an all-day rain. Sadly, the highest chance of seeing any snow from this system will be southeast of Caberfae and northwest of locations like Pine Knob. 

With northerly winds off of Lake Superior, a few light snow showers will be possible in the UP Sunday during the day. 

The HRRR and NAM do a nice job of illustrating Sunday's evolution, with light snow showers in the UP and rain (maybe mixing with snow or sleet at times) for lower Michigan.

HRRR Sunday forecast precipitation:

NAM Sunday forecast precipitation (it might be overdoing how much snow (blue) mixes in at the end of the loop in lower Michigan):

Monday will be fairly quiet with some light snow possible in northeast Minnesota with Giants Ridge possibly picking up an inch or so.

Tuesday brings the next chance of seeing widespread snow, with the favored areas at this time ranging from the resorts in the Twin Cities area up to the UP of Michigan. The suite of models agrees that a system will impact the Midwest, but they differ in strength, location, and timing.

For example, the ECMWF has it a little further to the northwest and quicker, so this would mean more snow during the day on Tuesday and favor the western UP and Twin cities resorts. On the other hand, the GFS is a little slower, which would likely mean Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning would be optimal for softer conditions. 

How much snow? I am always a little hesitant to put out amounts this far in advance but this system looks to be in the 2-6" range with a few higher amounts in the UP possible from lingering lake effect snow showers on Wednesday.  


Extended Forecast

Looking ahead to the end of next week and into the weekend the models are quite mixed on what comes our way next - some forecast much colder conditions and lake effect snow while others have a brief warmup and some rain and snow chances. This is a change from prior forecasts calling for much colder temperatures. It looks like the colder air is pushed further to the west and we won't see that arrive until the second week of December.

At this time, I think the safest bet is to take anything you see beyond Wednesday with a grain of salt - this week's system will dictate a lot of what follows. If it is better developed as it moves through, this will mean more snow and lake effect lingering on Wednesday and Thursday. If it is weaker and less organized, we will probably see less cold air behind it, which means less lake-effect snow. 

I do feel confident we will get back to snowmaking with overnight lows in much more favorable ranges across the Midwest this week which should help open more terrain. The one barrier will be the warm side of Tuesday's system bringing rain to some areas.