Midwest Daily Snow

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Mild Friday, Some Snow Saturday


After a very windy Wednesday and cold start to Thursday, expect a warming trend into Friday before the next chance of snow arrives late Friday into Saturday. Saturday will be another windy day for much of the Midwest with some lake effect snow expected.

Short Term Forecast


First, thank you to everyone who has taken the survey so far! I really appreciate everyone who has taken the time to do so - the feedback will help improve my second season. I plan to let it run for another week or so and then will summarize the results and share any adjustments I make moving forward.

For anyone who has not yet taken the survey, a few minutes of your time would be appreciated to help improve the Midwest Daily Snow for season 2! 

Estimated and Reported Snowfall: 

In an effort to get better snowfall data, I am working on building out some graphics to do estimated and reported snowfall for each Daily Snow.

Below is an option I have developed which is a mix of estimated snowfall from the past 24 hours and reported snow from the resorts. This data will not be perfect but it should at least help you understand where snow has fallen recently. 

I will mix in actual reports as data is available from various sources, including NOHRSC (limited to just the US). NOHRSC is a great dataset but can sometimes be limited by how many snow reports they received to fill in the map, so in sparsely populated areas like the UP and northern lower Michigan, it can be tricky to get good data.

Hopefully, the combination of the homegrown option above and these NOHRSC maps give you a better idea of snowfall moving forward. 

Here are the last 24 hours of snowfall from NOHRSC:

Here are the last 48 hours, which includes Wednesday's storm and snow from the Twin Cities up to the UP:

Thursday - Sunday:

Thursday and most of Friday will be relatively quiet, with only a few lingering flurries and snow showers near Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. By Friday afternoon, the next round of precipitation arrives with snow in the northern portions of the Midwest and a mix or rain for the southern portions. 

By Saturday morning, snow will start to mix in for northern lower Michigan with 1-3 inches possible for resorts near the Traverse City area. 

For northeast Minnesota, northern Wisconsin, and the UP, a quick burst of snow is expected late Friday before colder air settles in and lake effect snow showers get going by Saturday morning for much of the UP. 

Below are two animations from the ECMWF and the GFS illustrating what to expect from late Friday into Saturday afternoon. 



The most likely areas to receive over 3 inches will be the usual suspects with lake effect snow: the resorts near the Ironwood, Michigan area and up to Mont Ripley and Bohemia (I don't believe either one is open yet). 

Here is an early look at the forecast snow from late Friday into Saturday afternoon (additional resorts will be added to images like this one in the coming weeks):

The other big story on Saturday will be the winds. Here are forecast gusts for the middle of the day on Saturday: yikes, particularly in portions of lower Michigan!

Sunday we'll have to keep our eye on what happens with a weaker system that could bring some snow showers to the Lake Superior region and northern lower Michigan. However, at this time any accumulations appear to be on the lighter end: a dusting to 1". 

Extended Forecast

The next organized chance of snow still looks to arrive early next week in the Monday, December 5 to Tuesday, December 6 range. However, models have become a little more mixed on where and how much snow may fall. Right now it does not look like a significant storm that would bring widespread snow but rather a smaller region that would get a quick burst of a few inches. 

I still feel confident that there will be a prolonged period of lake effect snow off Lake Superior and Lake Michigan next week. I don't expect it to snow the entire week in those areas but off-and-on snow showers with periods of better-organized lake effect snow do appear likely.

I'd still be targeting a visit to your favorite resorts in the UP and northern lower Michigan for improved conditions and more terrain next weekend (around Saturday, December 10th) unless they open for some weekdays before then. 

Much of the next 7-10 days will be colder which will continue to allow snowmaking to occur for nearly the entire Midwest, so we should start to see a few more locations get close to or reach 100% of the terrain open. Congrats to Alpine Valley(WI) for hitting 100% open a few days ago, excellent work!