Midwest Daily Snow

Heads up, there may be fresher snow! Read the latest Midwest Daily Snow

By Croix Christenson, Meteorologist Posted 2 months ago December 1, 2023

Rain and Snow on Tap for Some


A bit of a messy weekend is on tap, particularly for the southern and eastern portions of the Midwest with chances of rain and snow. A milder week is expected for the first week of December where some locations could see the 50s return.

Short Term Forecast

Friday, Dec. 1 to Sunday, Dec. 11:

North Shore Lake Superior

If you are wondering where the snow has been so far this season and if it seems lower than normal, your suspicion is spot on! Here is a graph of where we are so far this season (using Duluth, MN as a proxy for the region) - we are well below normal for snowfall so far:

There is a chance of some light snow or lake effect snow late this weekend and a system early next week that could bring some light snow. A few models hint at another chance of snow late next week, but as of now that favors resorts up near Thunder Bay.

Otherwise, the next week looks quiet and mild, with normal or above-normal temperatures expected. If looking to hit the slopes, we will be reliant on snowmaking operations until further notice. 

South Shore Lake Superior

The next week will likely only feature light snow chances and limited lake effect snow as some smaller systems impact the region with a milder pattern overall. There is some hope for the second week of December that we return to a slightly colder pattern, but until we see consistent cold and/or a few bigger snow events, we will be at the mercy of snowmaking operations and any locations with enough snow on the ground now to allow for some rock skis (nordic). 

Here is a look at the ECMWF ensemble for Houghton, which is a good proxy for the rest of the south shore:

Twin Cities Region

No significant snow is likely through December 8th as milder air returns:

The good news is that we will still see a few windows to make snow over the next 5 days. 

Forecast snowmaking conditions at Wild Mountain

Central and Southern Wisconsin

Round one arrives on Friday, with a mix of rain and snow, especially across southern Wisconsin where a couple of inches of wet snow is possible. Forecast precipitation types from the HRRR model for Friday:

Round two arrives on Sunday, with more of the same - a rain and snow mix - with the best odds of an inch or so in central Wisconsin. Snow quality on Friday and again on Sunday will be of the wet/thick variety, not fluffy powder. 

The warmer air will also impact snowmaking conditions, as we will see much less progress over the next 5 days compared to the prior 5.

Northern Lower Michigan

The forecast for the weekend has an unusually high amount of uncertainty for only being 1-2 days away as the models continue to disagree on just how things play out. As a result, I have lower confidence, but periods of drizzle, rain, and snow are all possible this weekend, with some wet snow accumulations possible. The best chance of snow will be on Sunday, but at this time, the more pessimistic models say a dusting to an inch, while the more optimistic models are more in the 1-4" range. 

I would plan for softer conditions on the slopes, especially during the day as temperatures climb above freezing, and bringing more water-repellent clothing might not be a bad idea either as most of the snow that does fall will be wetter. 

With the milder pattern taking hold this weekend into next week, we will see fewer periods to make snow over the next 5+ days.

Forecast snowmaking conditions at Crystal Mountain: 

Forecast snowmaking conditions at Nub's Nob: 

Southern Lower Michigan

There will be periods of rain and snow (mainly north of the resorts in this region) on Friday - be sure to check ahead if visiting the slopes as the rain at times could be enough to impact operations. If you do venture to the slopes, it could be a bit wet, from either rain or wet snow so a raincoat may not be a bad idea. 

Forecast precipitation types from the HRRR for Friday:  

A blend of models and where snow is most likely on Friday:

Looking beyond Friday, Saturday and Sunday could bring drizzle or showers at times so we could continue to see impacts on operations. Next week looks to remain on the mild side, with much of the week running near or above normal. 

Extended Forecast

December 11 to 17:

  • No clear precipitation signal compared to normal (models show equal odds of drier or wetter)
  • There is a slight signal of warmer than normal, but not by much at this time

The next forecast will be posted on Saturday - thanks for reading! 


Latest Opening Dates by Region!

North Shore Lake Superior
Open: Mount Baldy, Spirit Mountain, Mont du Lac

Opening Dates: Lutsen - Dec. 1, Loch Lomond - Dec 8, Giants Ridge - Dec. 2

Closed: Chester Bowl, Bearskin

South Shore Lake Superior
Open: Ski Brule, Searchmont

Opening Dates: Snowriver - Dec. 3, Marquette Mtn - Dec 2

Closed: ABR, Whitecap, Ripley, Birkie, Powderhorn, Porkies, Bohemia, Pine Mtn

Twin Cities Region
Open: Andes Tower Hills, Wild Mtn, Trollhaugen, Powder Ridge

Opening Dates: Afton Alps - Nov. 29, Christie Dec. 8, Hyland Hills - Dec. 1, Buck Hill - Dec. 1, Welch Village - Dec. 2 (pass holders only)

Closed: Coffee Mill, Mount Kato

Central and Southern Wisconsin
Open: Alpine Valley (WI), Sundown (Iowa), Little Switz

Opening Dates: Cascade - Dec. 2, Granite Peak - Dec. 1, Devil's Head - Dec. 2, Wilmot Mtn - Dec. 1, Sunburst - Dec. 1, Nordic Mtn - Dec. 1, Chestnut (Illinois) - Dec. 2, Tyrol - Dec. 1

Closed: Paul Bunyan, Mt La Crosse, Mountain Top

Northern Lower Michigan
Open: Treetops

Opening Dates: Crystal Mtn - Dec 1, Nub's Nob - Dec. 1, Boyne Highlands - Dec. 1, Boyne Mtn - Dec. 2, Caberfae - Dec. 2

Closed: Otsego, Shanty Crk

Southern Lower Michigan
Open: Mt Holly, Pine Knob, Bittersweet

Opening Dates:  Alpine Valley (MI) - Nov. 30, Mt Brighton - Dec. 1

Closed: Cannonsburg, Timber Ridge, Swiss Valley

Road Conditions:

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About Our Forecaster

Croix Christenson


Croix grew up in Saint Paul, Minnesota where he developed his passion for the outdoors and snow. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and received his BS and MS in Atmospheric Science. When not working, you will find Croix exploring his Duluth, Minnesota backyard by skiing, mountain biking, fishing, surfing, hiking with his dog Doppler, or just about any activity that gets him outside.

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