Ranking the Midwest’s snowpacks heading into ‘Spring’

Now that a particularly snowy February has come and gone, MSJ wanted to take a look around the Midwest to see who has the best snowpacks heading into what is the final month of the season for most hills.

Deep snow at Welch Village. (MSJ/March 2)

While this list can give you an idea of who’s had it best this season (and therefore might have long or extended springs), it’s important to know that tracking Midwest snowpack is not a perfect science. Not even close.

Some hills diligently report snow totals and measure snowpacks. Others do not.

Some hills give themselves generous measurements and others miss days, which can skew a snowpack on the conservative side.

For instance, Buck Hill in Burnsville, Minnesota is boasting a snowpack of 264″ this season, which is completely impossible. February was the fourth snowiest month on record at MSP Airport (about 11 miles from Buck Hill) clocking in at just 39 inches…so something doesn’t add up there.

On the other end, Mt. Bohemia lists its snowpack at 70″ this year, despite having 264″ of total snowfall this season to date. (For more on just how deep it is there, see our on-the-ground Bohemia report from last week.)

SNOWPACK RANKING

This ranking is as of March 2 and uses the snowpacks collected by OpenSnow.

  1. Trollhaugen (WI): 120″
  2. Welch Village (MN): 99″
  3. Granite Peak (WI): 96″
  4. Wild Mountain (MN): 95″
  5. Mont Ripley (MI): 82
  6. Lutsen (MN): 80
  7. Cascade (WI) and Mt. Kato (MN): 72
  8. Mt. Bohemia (MI), Afton Alps (MN), Ski Brule (MI), Chestnut (IL): 70″
  9. Indianhead (MI): 60″
  10. Big Powderhorn (MI): 55″
  11. Giants Ridge (MN): 54″
  12. Devil’s Head (WI): 48″
  13. Spirit (MN): 42″
  14. Boyne (MI): 35″
  15. Mt. LaCrosse (WI): 30″
  16. Wilmot (WI): 24″
  17. Alpine Valley (WI): 22″

Again, Buck Hill said its snowpack is between 30″ and 264″, so do with that what you will, but I decided not to put it on the list because of the numerous red flags there.

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