Midwest Daily Snow

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Cold with a Side of Lake Effect Snow


As we look ahead, the next handful of days look cold and relatively quiet with no major systems. With that said, lake effect snow will continue for much of the week, allowing for some refreshes for resorts in the lake effect snow belts. Temperatures begin to moderate towards the end of the upcoming week and into the weekend.

Short Term Forecast

Nordic Update:

We continue to do some testing with a preliminary batch of 10 locations - so far so good! 


Most of the moderate to heavy snow has exited the Midwest this morning, with lingering snow showers and lake effect snow expected. The best odds of seeing some lake effect snow will be for the south shore of Lake Superior where a few inches are possible.

With the recent snowfall, the groomed runs should be excellent on Sunday with powder stashes lingering in the glades for those willing to venture out for them. Generally 4-9" are being reported for the resorts in southern Wisconsin and central lower Michigan, which appear to be the winners with this system. 

Here is a look at the forecast precipitation types for Sunday:

It does look like drier air limited the lake effect snow for the resorts near Ironwood, Michigan, with only 1" of fluffy snow on the Snowriver snowboard this morning:

Sunday Night - Wednesday AM:

Sunday night through Wednesday morning looks to be relatively quiet, with continued cold. The exception will be periods of light to moderate lake effect snow expected for the south shore of Lake Superior and western lower Michigan. 

Here are the forecast precipitation types from Sunday night through Wednesday morning, notice the shading of blue that is present off of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan:

Here is the forecast snowfall from Sunday night through Wednesday morning from OpenSnow: 

I think it is doing a fairly good job, however, lake effect snow off of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan can be tricky to forecast. Lake effect for our area usually is showery and can bring quick bursts of snow compared to places like Buffalo, New York, where it is organized bands that are easier to forecast.

I would not be surprised if some of the resorts I circled in grey received more snow than is forecast. This will be very light, fluffy snow that can add up quickly. 

Keep in mind, Searchmont is closed this week Monday and Tuesday - can you say freshies for Wednesday's first chair?

Extended Forecast

Wednesday, Feb 1 to Sunday, Feb. 5:

The main story during this time period looks to be the drier pattern with light snow chances to end next week. With the colder temperatures, however, I do expect periods of lake effect snow to continue through Friday or so. It looks like the best chance of anything notable arriving will be this weekend (aside from lake effect snow). 

Both the ECMWF and GFS also want to sneak in some warmer air this weekend. The ECMWF has a stronger ridge and drier conditions. Comparatively, the GFS brings the return of precipitation chances that is more than just lake effect snow.

Here's a comparison of the two using total precipitation Wednesday through Sunday:

Fantasy Land, First Full week of February (6-12):

No change for this time period:

  • Ensembles suggest we return to a wetter pattern
  • May be warm enough for the return of rain for some
  • Too early to pick when and where the snow may fly 
  • ECMWF ensemble has the Midwest warmer than normal, while the GFS ensemble has us near-normal averaged over the week

Unless I see a significant change in the forecast the next update may not be until Tuesday morning. 



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. We have begun testing on an initial batch of 10 nordic locations. 

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:

Road Conditions:


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

Central Wisconsin
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)