Midwest Daily Snow

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Saturday, What a Day!


That was something else on Saturday! From 4" per hour snowfall rates to refills all day in the Traverse City region, there was lots of great snow to be had. Quieter weather is expected Sunday - Tuesday, with some light snow possible on Wednesday. The next major system likely arrives for Friday into Saturday.

Short Term Forecast

Saturday Recap:

What a day - some snowfall rates reached 4" per hour in Wisconsin on Saturday, with one location reporting 10" in 2.5 hours. There was also a report of around 20" in ~7 hours and many locations picked up double digits during the morning. A narrow, strong band of snow stalled over the area resulting in the top-end totals. 

Why such intense snowfall rates? A process called frontogenesis, where gradient of temperature increases, often leads to narrow, strong bands of snow. On Saturday, not only was the frontogenesis strong, the amount of moisture available to work with was impressive, with origins from the Pacific Ocean, along with the Gulf of Mexico. This one-two punch lead to snowfall rates of 1-4" per hour. 

Based on reports it looks like Tyrol ended up with around 8" and Little Switzerland around 5-6", with a narrow swath of 9-15"+ from Madison, Wisconsin up towards Green Bay. 

Here is a radar loop from Saturday:

Up in the Traverse City region, things were equally impressive with many double-digit totals reported. Most of the resorts, last I saw, picked up at least 6", but most of them will likely end up in the 7-11"+ range. Snow continued after the lifts closed, so some fresh snow should be waiting for those that snag first chair on Sunday. 

The entire system came in stronger and further north than expected so it sounds like Searchmont did well on Saturday too, though I have not seen an official report just yet. 

Preliminary snowfall amounts:

For portions of Wisconsin, there were sharp gradients of 10"+ within a given county! Notice how Nordic Mountain barely saw any snow while just east, locations picked up 12"+ of snow!


For Sunday, I expect most of the Midwest to remain dry with highs in the 30s and 40s, making for spring conditions on the slopes. A few rain and snow showers could sneak into southern Wisconsin on Sunday, but nothing like what occurred on Saturday is expected for Tyrol Basin or Little Switzerland.

Some morning powder turns will be possible for the Traverse City resorts as the snow kept flying after lifts stopped Saturday evening, with a couple of fresh inches likely for first chair. Be sure to get there early, as temperatures will climb above freezing, with mashed potatoes likely in the afternoon!

This will be the closing day for the resorts listed below per their websites and social media profiles!

Afton Alps, Hyland Hills, Christie Mtn, Little Switz, Caberfae, Mount Kato, Ripley, Powder Ridge, Tyrol Basin, Nordic Mtn, Wild Mtn, Whitecap, Shanty Creek, Paul Bunyan (maybe? Facebook post is not clear)

March 27 - April 2:

  • A few flurries or snow showers on Monday and Tuesday
  • Wednesday could bring a couple of inches of snow but models are mixed on which resorts have the best odds
  • A stronger system is still possible with rain/snow Friday into Saturday 

With a quieter start to the week, the next forecast will be Tuesday AM!


Extended Forecast

New Closing Dates Announced/Added:

  • Pine Knob, is closed for the season (shoutout for opening on Friday the 24 to provide one more day on the slopes!)
  • Paul Bunyan closing Sunday, March 26 I think - Facebook post is not clear

***Compiled from various sources and subject to change, I strongly recommend calling ahead***

Closing Sunday, March 26:

Afton Alps (bonus weekend announced!), Hyland Hills, Christie Mtn, Little Switz (bonus weekend announced per their website!), Caberfae, Mount Kato, Ripley, Powder Ridge, Tyrol Basin, Nordic Mtn, Wild Mtn, Whitecap, Shanty Creek, Paul Bunyan (maybe? Facebook post is not clear)

Closing Saturday, April 1:

Big Powderhorn, Trollhaugen

Closing Sunday, April 2:

Nub's Nob, Snowriver (Jackson Creek), Giants Ridge, Porkies, Spirit Mtn (tentative), Pine Mtn, Marquette Mtn (tentative) 

Closing Saturday, April 8:

Mont du Lac (Retro Meltdown to celebrate the end of the season)

Closing Sunday, April 16:

Snowriver (Black River Basin), Lutsen

***By Geographic Region***

North Shore Lake Superior/Northeast Minnesota
Open: Giants Ridge, Spirit Mountain, Mont du Lac, Lutsen, Bearskin (TBD, likely open into April), Loch Lomond (TBD, likely weekends only in April), Mount Baldy

Closed: Chester Bowl

UP/South Shore Lake Superior/Lake Effect Snow Belt
Open: Birkie, Whitecap, Powderhorn, Porkies, Snowriver, Ripley, Bohemia, Marquette Mtn, Ski Brule, Pine Mtn, Searchmont (open likely middle to late April)

Closed: ABR

Twin Cities Region
Open: Trollhaugen, Wild Mountain, Powder Ridge, Hyland Hills, Afton Alps, Buck Hill, Welch Village, Mount Kato,

Closed: Coffee Mill

Central Wisconsin
Granite Peak, Paul Bunyan, Nordic Mtn, Christie

Southern Wisconsin Region
Open: Tyrol, Little Switz

Closed: Mt La Crosse, Cascade, Devil's Head, Wilmot, Mountain Top, Sundown (Iowa), Chestnut (Illinois), Sunburst, Alpine Valley (WI)

Northern Lower Michigan/Traverse City Region/Lake Effect Snow Belt
Open: Nub's Nob, Boyne Mtn, Shanty Crk, Crystal Mtn, Caberfae, Treetops

Closed: Boyne Highlands, Otsego

Southwest Lower Michigan/Grand Rapids Region/Kalamazoo Region/Lake Effect Snow Belt
Closed: Cannonsburg, Bittersweet, Timber Ridge, Swiss Valley

Southeast Lower Michigan/Eastern Michigan/Detroit Region

Closed: Mt Brighton, Mt Holly, Alpine Valley (MI), Pine Knob


Road Conditions: