This has been an incredible past few months with systems coming every couple of days - as a result I have run out of creative ways to say more rain and snow are on the way! Soft turns for Friday and Saturday of this week and again early next week.
Short Term Forecast
Thursday - Saturday:
Rain and snow arrive during the afternoon on Thursday and then quickly expand in coverage for Thursday night bringing fresh snow to the Lake Superior region. Precipitation might start out as snow for the central portion of the Midwest before changing to rain Thursday night. With the expected rainfall Thursday night, be sure to check ahead before hitting the slopes for locations like Granite Peak and those spinning the lifts still in the Traverse City region. Rain likely impacts when they open next.
HRRR forecast precipitation types Thursday PM into Friday AM
Snow quality will mainly be wet/thick though there could be periods of drier/fluffier snow, particularly for locations like Giants Ridge and Lutsen where temperatures will be a little colder. I am concerned with how far north the snow will end up making it and could only mean very light snow for the Thunder Bay resorts. Friday's first chair appears to be the best time to find the softest turns as temperatures likely get above freezing by the afternoon for most resorts, resulting in mashed potato-like conditions.
There still remains a large difference between the models for a system that is on our doorstep but I think 2-5" for most of the resorts still open in the Lake Superior region on Friday is reasonable. The exception would be for a location like Ski Brule, as they will be right on the rain/snow line and could see a few inches of snow before changing to rain or freezing rain. As mentioned above, I am concerned about Loch Lomond and Mt Baldy as well, as they might end up being too far north to see much snow - maybe a dusting to an inch or so.
Over in the Traverse City region, precipitation likely starts out as snow or a mix before changing to rain Thursday night, so Friday AM could be a bit wet and we could also see some lift closures to preserve snow.
Round two arrives Friday afternoon and lasts into Saturday, bringing with it thunderstorms, rain, sleet, freezing rain, and heavy snow. The heaviest axis of snow is likely to be from the Twin Cities east into Wisconsin and then over towards Searchmont and Nub's Nob.
HRRR forecast precipitation types for Friday
I expect a narrow, intense line of snow to form Friday night with snowfall rates of 1-2"+ per hour, which will likely result in some double-digit totals. Similar to the system last week, this system has no shortage of moisture to work with so don't be surprised if we see areas of the Midwest pick up 10-15" in a short time period.
The narrow nature of the heaviest snow could be narrow enough to end up being between both Searchmont and Nub's Nob, with double-digit totals in the far eastern portion of the UP and then less for the two resorts. The south shore of Lake Superior will also get in on the action, with some moderate to heavy snow possible.
ECMWF forecast precipitation types from Friday PM to Saturday
ECMWF & GFS Ensemble favored location of seeing 5-10"+ Friday PM into Saturday
The recent trends show just light rain or snow showers in the Lake Superior region which could mean a very mild day on Sunday with highs reaching the 40s and 50s for some of the resorts still spinning the lifts - spring fever!
March 3 - April 9:
- Tuesday - Wednesday:
- A significant system likely with some impressive snow totals possible
- Current model projections favor the Lake Superior region
- Only Lutsen and Bohemia are confirmed to be operating daily next week in the Lake Superior region
- Maybe another resort will spin the lifts for a special powder day?
ECMWF & GFS Ensemble favored location to see snow Tuesday - Wednesday of next week
New Closing Dates Announced/Added:
- Wild Mtn - Bonus day April 1
- Welch Village - Bonus day April 1
- Nordic Mtn - Bonus weekend April 1 and 2
- Granite Peak closing on April 9th
- Treetops might be closing on April 2nd - TBD
- Crystal Mountain closing on April 2nd
- Buck Hill closing on April 1st
***Compiled from various sources and subject to change, I strongly recommend calling ahead***
Closing Saturday, April 1:
Big Powderhorn, Trollhaugen, Wild Mtn (bonus day), Welch Village (bonus day)
Closing Sunday, April 2:
Nub's Nob, Snowriver (Jackson Creek), Giants Ridge, Porkies, Spirit Mtn (tentative), Pine Mtn, Marquette Mtn (tentative), Nordic Mtn (bonus weekend added), Treetops (TBD, but this weekend might be their last), Crystal Mountain
Closing Saturday, April 8:
Mont du Lac (Retro Meltdown to celebrate the end of the season)
Closing Sunday, April 9:
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, Powderhorn, Porkies, Snowriver, Bohemia, Marquette Mtn, Ski Brule, Pine Mtn, Searchmont (open likely middle to late April)
Closed: ABR, Whitecap, Ripley
Twin Cities Region
Open: Trollhaugen, Buck Hill, Welch Village
Closed: Coffee Mill, Afton Alps, Mount Kato, Wild Mtn, Hyland Hills, Powder Ridge
Open: Granite Peak, Nordic Mtn (bonus weekend added)
Closed: Paul Bunyan, Christie
Southern Wisconsin Region
Closed: Mt La Crosse, Cascade, Devil's Head, Wilmot, Mountain Top, Sundown (Iowa), Chestnut (Illinois), Sunburst, Alpine Valley (WI), Tyrol, Little Switz
Northern Lower Michigan/Traverse City Region/Lake Effect Snow Belt
Open: Nub's Nob, Boyne Mtn, Crystal Mtn, Treetops
Closed: Boyne Highlands, Otsego, Shanty Crk, Caberfae
Southwest Lower Michigan/Grand Rapids Region/Kalamazoo Region/Lake Effect Snow Belt
Closed: Cannonsburg, Bittersweet, Timber Ridge, Swiss Valley
Southeast Lower Michigan/Detroit Region
Closed: Mt Brighton, Mt Holly, Alpine Valley (MI), Pine Knob