Lack of snow is bad news for trails in the area

Beyond The Forecast

Snowmobile trail

(WFRV) – After a very quick start to the winter season with snow in October and November, we have found ourselves in a lull with regards to snowfall thanks to warmer temperatures and systems missing the area.

So far this month Green Bay has only recorded 0.1″ of snow, and since December 12th only 3.7″ of snow has been measured. The lack of snow and a mild end to December and above average highs as we begin January has also melted much of the snow that was on the ground.

Snowfall this season

Snow this season. Courtesy: NOAA

The image above shows the total snowfall so far this season across the nation. Areas highlighted by the yellow and red colors indicate snow over a foot that has already been measured. Notice across far northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula areas that have received over 4 feet of snow with some locations east of Marquette and the higher elevations of the western U.P. nearing 10 feet of snow this season!

Great Lakes Snow Depth

Snow depth as of Tuesday morning

The snow depth across the state of Wisconsin is highest right now across the far northern portions of the state. For the southern half of the state you can see there is very little if any snow on the ground from Green Bay and areas to the south.

This time last year conditions were fairly similar with the highest snow depth seen across the far north and very little for the southern half of the state. 2018 was a different story with nearly 99% of the region reporting snow on the ground. This was the beginning of what is now the second wettest year on record on Green Bay.

Looking further back 2012 featured a start to the year with very little snow on the ground by this time of the month. Only 36.8% of the Upper Great Lakes region had measurable snow on the ground compared to the 56.9% as of Tuesday.

Tough Conditions for Snowmobile Trails

The lack of snow cover is also bad news for snow enthusiasts especially for those who want to make use of the miles of snowmobile trails across the state. Most counties across Wisconsin south of Hwy. 29 are reporting their trails to be closed due to the lack of snow. If you are looking for open trails across Northeast Wisconsin trails in Shawano, Oconto, and Marinette counties are partially open. Conditions do improve further northwest in Langlade, Forest, and Florence counties where fair to good trails conditions are being reported.

For the latest trail reports you can visit the Travel Wisconsin Snow Report by following this link

European Model 10 day snow potential

Looking ahead to the next 10 days the European forecast model shows the possibility for a few storm systems that could bring accumulating snow back to the state. There is also support from the GFS and GFS Ensemble models for snow accumulations especially in the middle portions of January.

Stay tuned for the latest forecasts!

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