Light snow through the weekend will be the main story along with the first blast of arctic air since December. The powder day for Wednesday in lower Michigan remains on track with most of the resorts in the south half of lower Michigan picking up 3-7".
Short Term Forecast
Updates on Powder Tracker and Nordic Locations have been moved to the announcements section!
Tuesday - Thursday:
The middle of this week is quickly turning into a very active and snowy period, with sneaky fun powder potential. To simplify the forecast, let's break it down by sub-regions and walk through the next 3 days.
A few things to keep in mind:
- Some resorts pick up 1-3" every few days, with totals over the next week likely reaching double digits
- A well-organized system brings a powder day to the Detroit region resorts on Wednesday
- Off and on lake effect snow likely through early February
Forecast precipitation types through Thursday morning:
For Tuesday, some lingering lake effect snow showers will be possible on top of the few inches that fell for the south shore of Lake Superior Monday into Tuesday morning. Webcams in portions of the UP and northern lower Michigan are still showing snow showers Tuesday morning. For the north shore, some light snow will move in during the day on Tuesday, with a second wave arriving on Wednesday.
Onshore flow may allow Lutsen to squeeze out 2-5" Tuesday night into Wednesday allowing for a low-end powder day on Wednesday. For the rest of the resorts on the north shore, generally 1-3" are expected Tuesday into Wednesday allowing for some softer turns on the groomed surfaces.
As we shift to Wednesday night into Thursday, winds will shift out of the north allowing for lake effect snow to return to the south shore of Lake Superior. At this time 1-4" look likely by Thursday morning allowing for softer turns and some low-end powder days. This will also kick off what looks to be an active next 7-10 days for the south shore of Lake Superior with a few inches of snow every few days allowing totals into next week to approach double digits at some resorts. Coupled with cold temperatures, the slopes should be soft with pockets of powder in the glades.
An area of light snow moved through Monday evening, leaving an inch or two of fresh snow for many resorts in the Traverse City region. Snow showers will linger for Tuesday, with a dusting to an inch for most in the Traverse City region.
Lower Michigan will be home to a powder day on Wednesday as an area of snow arrives during the day. The largest totals will be for the Detroit, Michigan resorts, with 3-7" likely Wednesday into Wednesday evening. 2-6" appears likely for the resorts in southwest lower Michigan for Wednesday.
For the northern half of lower Michigan, off-and-on light snow will continue through Thursday, with additional accumulation in the 1-3" range for most of the Traverse City resorts.
Southeast Wisconsin resorts have the best odds of seeing 1-3" on Wednesday as the system that will bring a power day to lower Michigan clips the southern edge of the state. The rest of the state will see off-and-on snow showers through Thursday morning, with accumulations of a dusting to an inch or two.
The Twin Cities will see off-and-on snow showers through Thursday with most of the resorts picking up an inch or two of snow. Tuesday - Thursday will be the last of the milder days before the cold air arrives this weekend, so it might be a good time to hit the slopes and enjoy a little bit of fresh snow.
Friday - Sunday:
On Friday, a quick burst of snow likely pays the Midwest a visit and could bring a low-end powder day for some, particularly for the resorts that pick up some lake effect snow on Thursday. This system needs to be monitored in the coming days as it could bring a few inches of snow to a large area and be followed up by lake effect snow into the weekend. More updates in the coming days, but this would be on top of the snow that has fallen on Monday and will fall Tuesday - Thursday.
Sunday another system may impact the southern portion of the Midwest, bringing some light snow.
In addition, the first wave of arctic air arrives this weekend with temperatures for some resorts struggling to reach the double digits above zero for highs by Saturday. With the cold air and bitter wind chills expected, we could see impacts to operations starting as early as Saturday.
The main story in the extended remains the arctic air poised to visit the Midwest and the multiple rounds of light snow and lake effect snow. Next week still remains on track to stay cold. Here are the forecast temperature anomalies from the ECWMF, GFS, and Canadian ensembles for Monday, Jan. 30 to Saturday, Feb. 4:
These cold temperatures, combined with very little ice on the great lakes and warm surface water will combine to bring consistent lake effect snow. The ensembles also continue to bring smaller systems through early February that appear capable of a couple of inches of snow every few days.
With the colder temperatures and consistent new snow, the conditions should be excellent (minus the bitter cold) through early February!
Updates on Powder Tracker and Nordic Locations:
Thank you to everyone that has submitted nordic ski locations - love it! Keep them coming! Please use this form to submit any locations you would like to see added. I am about 50% done compiling a list of nordic locations to be added to the platform.
I'm still working on creating a "powder tracker" for the Midwest and I hope to have a first draft by sometime in February. However, there are some issues with data feeds and if those continue, I may have to delay the powder tracker until next season, sadly.
Social Media Profiles:
North Shore Lake Superior/Northeast Minnesota
Giants Ridge, Spirit Mountain, Mont du Lac, Lutsen, Bearskin, Loch Lomond, Mount Baldy
UP/South Shore Lake Superior/Lake Effect Snow Belt
Birkie, Whitecap, Powderhorn, ABR, Porkies, Snowriver, Ripley, Bohemia, Marquette Mtn, Ski Brule, Pine Mtn, Searchmont
Twin Cities Region
Trollhaugen, Wild Mountain, Powder Ridge, Hyland Hills, Afton Alps, Buck Hill, Welch Village, Mount Kato, Coffee Mill
Granite Peak, Paul Bunyan, Nordic Mtn
Southern Wisconsin Region
Mt La Crosse, Cascade, Devil's Head, Tyrol, Little Switz, Sunburst, Wilmot, Alpine Valley(WI), Sundown(Iowa), Chestnut(Illinois)
Northern Lower Michigan/Traverse City Region/Lake Effect Snow Belt Boyne Highlands, Nub's Nob, Boyne Mtn, Shanty Crk, Crystal Mtn, Caberfae, Treetops, Otsego
Southwest Lower Michigan/Grand Rapids Region/Kalamazoo Region/Lake Effect Snow Belt
Cannonsburg, Bittersweet, Timber Ridge, Swiss Valley
Southeast Lower Michigan/Eastern Michigan/Detroit Region
Mt Holly, Pine Knob, Mt Brighton, Alpine Valley(MI)