With all the warm weather the great lakes region has seen, it's no surprise the great lakes water TEMPS are very warm and have no ice cover. This could be the perfect setup for some killer lake affect snows in the coming weeks, if this artic air forecast holds true.
Southeastern lower MI ski areas are again making snow, and will be open with a few runs in the next 24/48 hours.
Southwestern lower MI ski areas are enjoying a little more real snow from the current small lake affect event, and are opening more runs daily.
Northern lower MI ski areas are also enjoying a little more real snow from the current small lake affect event, and are opening more runs daily. NubsNob might be 100% by this weekend!
The U.P. MI ski areas are enjoying a little more real snow from the current small lake affect event, and are opening more runs daily. They also might have a snow storm by the weekend to really help things along.
As for the long range forecast, John Dee is starting to see white in his eyes, I think!
From John Dee's Site
5-10 DAY FORECAST:
As we head into the weekend, the forecast becomes a whole lot more interesting, but also a whole lot more challenging. In the last 24 hours, the majority of the models have come around to the idea of an area of low pressure to develop in the southwest Plains and track into the Midwest. The low is indicated to be able to support an area of moderate to heavy snows on it?s north and west sides.
Because the majority of the models are now indicating this low to occur, I have raised the likelihood of it happening from about a 45% chance yesterday morning to about a 65% chance this morning. So it is not a given yet, but does much better than yesterday.
As far as the track and exact amounts of snow go, the former is highly up for grabs- with the model runs as much as 400 miles apart in the track, with the later a little more consistent from the models- the amounts in most cases would be in the 5-10" range. Right now I am taking a middle of the road approach with the track of the storm and thus have the best chances for the 5-10" to fall from far NE KS and NW MO into the western 3/4ths of IA, the southeast ¼ of MN, much of WI (except the far SE corner and far NW corner), the eastern 2/3rds of the UP and into the NW ¼ of lower MI. I don?t think I can stress enough the uncertainty of the track of this low right now. The actual band of heaviest snow could be as much as 150-200 miles north or south of where I just described.
Beyond that system, the coldest air of the season looks to drop into all of the Midwest and will dry out most of the Midwest, but the LES belts will likely experience some very heavy snows. Exactly where and how much LES occurs is still up for grabs, but it could be a prolonged period of snow with totals every 24 hours running in the 4-10" range in spots and the snows possibly going all week next week and possibly into the following weekend and early part of next week.
Highs by next week will likely be in the single digits and teens in the Northwoods, with lows in the sub zero range. Highs elsewhere in the Midwest will be in the teens and low 20?s, with lows in the single digits and teens.
The 11-16 day period indicates the arctic air remain in place. Not much moisture would be available for system snows. There could be some upper air disturbances that roll through and squeeze out a a few inches from time to time, but no major storms are indicated. The setup would be prime for continued LES in most of the LES belts of the Great Lakes.