Sunday will be another mild day on the slopes, with spring fever in full force! Next week will feel more like early summer at times than April as a significant warmup is headed toward the Midwest for the second full week of April.
Short Term Forecast
For resorts spinning the lifts on Sunday, it will be another mild one, with afternoon temperatures in the 40s to low 60s forecasted. The ECWMF wants to sneak in some 60s for Granite Peak along with Boyne Mountain!
A few showers will be possible on Sunday, especially for the western half of the Lake Superior region otherwise expect dry and mild conditions for the resorts spinning the lifts.
ECWMF forecast temperatures for Sunday afternoon
April 10- 16:
There's little change from the previous forecast, with a mild week ahead and at times feeling more like early summer than April! A few chances of rain will be possible but most of the time conditions will be dry. A system is still poised to arrive late next week and along with it the chance of rain and maybe some snow. This warmup will likely impact when resorts decide to spin the lifts next, either one more time this season or wait until next season.
ECWMF Ensemble forecast temperature anomalies
2202-23 Season Recap:
This was an interesting season, with a very stop-and-go nature. We saw some very impressive systems bring feet of snow at times only to be followed up by a warmup and/or rain. There were some DEEP powder days along with rainy days. We had the lifts spinning as early as October only to have a pause and a mild late October/Early November.
This all added up to be a season that was near to above normal for temperatures after a colder start in December. If you recall December started off on the colder end for portions of the Midwest, then we had an overall mild January to March before a colder end to March and into early April.
The prolonged periods of very cold temperatures were mainly absent from this season with only short bursts of bitterly cold air which limited how much lake effect snow fell at times despite there being very little ice on the Great Lakes this winter.
Temperature anomalies since early December
On the other hand, we had a very active season, especially since early January with system after system bringing rain and snow. Not only were the systems frequent but they also at times brought impressive multiple-day snow totals that often exceeded a foot. By the time we got to March and early April, we also had some systems that brought some incredible snowfall rates - as much as 3-4" per hour!
To put this into perspective, below are two images showing the percent of normal liquid that fell (melted snow or rain) along with how much excess liquid to normal in inches. There are many locations within the Midwest that saw over 2x the amount of precipitation (blues) they would normally see since January 1st! How much extra liquid does that result in? Some areas saw 4-10" of extra precipitation.
Precipitation Anomaly (Percent of Normal) which includes rain and snow-water-equivalent
Precipitation Anomaly (inches) which includes rain and snow-water-equivalent
Sadly, not all of the excess liquid fell as snow, with some areas seeing a lot of rain since January 1st - a real missed opportunity. With that said, we still did quite well for our season snowfall for much of the Midwest.
Season snowfall through April 8th
Season snowfall compared to what we would normally expect through April 8th
The areas of blue are where more snowfall fell than normal, so despite not having an overly cold winter, the Ironwood, Michigan resorts still did quite well this season due to the frequent systems. Ripley and Bohemia were near normal as the lack of cold resulted in less lake effect snow despite the frequent parade of snow this season.
It was an excellent year for most of the Twin Cities resorts along with locations like Christie Mountain east towards Granite Peak and up near Ski Brule/Pine Mtn. Spirit Mountain and Lutsen also did quite well with the city of Duluth a few inches from the snowiest year on record!
Things were closer to normal for Lower Michigan (or below normal near Detroit) despite seeing a lot of precipitation since January 1st. This was largely due to many systems bringing a mix of rain and snow or all rain the past few months.
Sadly, this dataset is not available for the resorts in Canada, but the three resorts north of the border often mentioned did end up near to above normal this season based on some data I was able to uncover. As a result of the consistent snow, Searchmont went over 100 days spinning the lifts, which is impressive since they do not operate 7 days a week except for holiday weeks!
Daily Snow Schedule:
This will be the last Daily Snow of the 2022-23 season unless a powder day pops up between now and Sunday, April 16th.
I appreciate everyone who followed along and who provided feedback via the surveys - I have a few projects planned for the summer that I hope to unveil for next season!
I hope that these forecasts aided in optimizing your time on the slopes and we'll see ya back here sometime in the fall of 2023 for snowmaking season!
New Closing Dates Announced/Added:
- Spirit Mtn - Closed but might have a bonus day or two left
- Bohemia - Weekends only after April 2nd
- Loch Lomond will spin the lifts from April 7-10 (TBD after)
- Searchmont will spin the lifts from April 6-10 and 13-16 (TBD after)
- Mont du Lac will be open until April 15 with limited dates and hours
- Boyne Mountain, daily through Sunday, April 9th (TBD after)
- Ski Brule Open (TBD on closing date)
***Compiled from various sources and subject to change, I strongly recommend calling ahead***
Closing Sunday, April 9:
Granite Peak, Snowriver (Black River Basin)
Closing Saturday, April 15:
Mont du Lac
Closing Sunday, April 16:
***By Geographic Region***
North Shore Lake Superior/Northeast Minnesota
Open: Mont du Lac, Lutsen, Bearskin (TBD, likely open into mid-April), Loch Lomond (TBD, likely weekends only in April), Mount Baldy
Closed: Chester Bowl, Giants Ridge, Spirit Mtn
UP/South Shore Lake Superior/Lake Effect Snow Belt
Open: Birkie, Snowriver (Black River Basin), Bohemia, Ski Brule, Searchmont
Closed: ABR, Whitecap, Ripley, Marquette Mtn, Pine Mtn, Powderhorn, Porkies, Snowriver (Jackson Creek)
Twin Cities Region
Closed: Coffee Mill, Afton Alps, Mount Kato, Wild Mtn, Hyland Hills, Powder Ridge, Trollhaugen, Buck Hill, Welch Village
Open: Granite Peak
Closed: Paul Bunyan, Christie, Nordic Mtn
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: Boyne Mtn
Closed: Boyne Highlands, Otsego, Shanty Crk, Caberfae, Crystal Mtn, Nub's Nob, Treetops
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