Winter Storm Watch issued for West Michigan for Sunday

Ski Season Begins in Northern Michigan

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While West Michigan snow lovers are still waiting for the first real shot of winter, colder temperatures and snow have allowed Boyne Highlands to become the first ski resort in the Lower Peninsula to open for the season Tuesday.

“Several nights of cold weather have allowed Boyne Highlands to take full advantage of its powerful snowmaking system,” said spokeswoman Erin Ernst in a press release.  “The resort has been making snow around the clock, 68 consecutive hours, in preparation for Tuesday’s opening day.”  The resort was offering free lift tickets Tuesday between noon and 4:30 P.M.  Only one slope and lift are open, with more terrain expected to open by Friday.

In addition to the manmade snow, Mother Nature has provided at least some snow to most of northern Michigan.  Many areas in the lake-effect snowbelts saw several inches of accumulation over the weekend and early this week, and a couple more inches are likely in the next two days before temperatures warm up into next weekend.

Houghton Lake has officially recorded 5.9 inches of snow as of Tuesday morning, with Sault Ste. Marie picking up 19 inches since the start of the season — a figure which includes a daily record snowfall of eight inches Monday.  Marquette has already topped twenty inches for the year so far, although that number is still five inches below average.

Meanwhile, only a few parts of West Michigan have seen any real snow.  A couple of spotty inches fell north of Grand Rapids over the weekend, but most observing sites have still recorded less than an inch total for the season.  Muskegon’s official total sat at 0.6 inches Tuesday morning, with Grand Rapids at 0.2″.  No more accumulating snow is in the forecast until Friday, when a rain/snow mix could leave some brief accumulation before quickly melting as temperatures climb heading into the weekend.

You can check out the rest of the 7-Day forecast on the Weather page.

Photo courtesy: Boyne Resorts

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