Snow Conditions Report: Dec. 8, 2017

Statewide weekend snowfall forecast

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When I was analyzing data for the first Snow Conditions Report last week, I knew the first weekend was going to be a wash but the pattern held hope. Look at the contrast of snow throughout Michigan from my first report to this Friday:

Snow on the ground December 3
Snow on the ground December 7

We are in a pattern now that once every two to three days, an Alberta Clipper will slide through enhancing snow and reinforcing the cold air that in return generates more lake-effect. The next one arrives Friday night.

Radar and Satellite with next clipper system
The lake effect component will kick on for the remainder of the weekend resulting in additional snow
Statewide weekend snowfall forecast
European model ten day forecast with 15 to 1 snow ratios

Mother Nature has finally helped with the snow process with most resorts in Northern Michigan receiving a fresh six to 12 inches on top of whatever the snow guns have made.

Recent image of Schuss Mountain Ski Resort

Cannonsburg is the only ski resort not open as of yet, but all others will be open this weekend. It’s Cannonsburg’s goal to open Dec. 16. Most resorts do not have all their runs open yet, but there are enough of them to get you carving on the slopes. Dress warm as seasonal December temperatures will blanket Michigan. Knock off another 10 to 15 degrees from these temperatures for wind chill as it will remain rather breezy Saturday afternoon and Sunday.

Saturday’s high temperatures
Sunday’s high temperatures

There will be interludes when the snow isn’t falling but cold temperatures will persist, allowing the snow gun machines to run non-stop this coming week. Also, the temperatures will not be brutally cold, so you can stay out a little longer on the slopes.

High temperature forecast this week

The fret is that we may lose this new snow but it appears at this stage, the cold will hold through most of December.

8-14 day temperature outlook
CFSV2 temperature anomaly through December 30th.

This is all great news for skiers and snowboarders but not quite yet for snowmobilers. The fluffy lake-effect snow wasn’t enough for the trails. We need more snow to compact on area trails. I’m hoping by next weekend there will be enough in a few spots and Northwest Lower Michigan has the best chance of this. I’m hoping parts of the Indian River, Jordan Valley, Gaylord, and Kalkaska will have enough next weekend. Mancelona, Mich. by the Blue Bear trailhead received near 16 inches of snow. If you really want to get on the sled, you’ll have to do some back-country riding for now.

Until next week’s snow report, think snow.


Matt Kirkwood’s Snow Conditions Report is sponsored by Harvey Automotive.