The data run as deep as the snow at Weather for Nordic Skiers in the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes Regions, an online resource compiled by research meteorologist Scott Bachmeier of the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies at the UW-Madison's Space Science and Engineering Center. Drawing on a wealth of sources, Bachmeier has compiled a veritable treasure trove of textual, graphic and animated information that appears to be indispensible for anyone in search of primo Nordic destinations.
Among the embarrassment of riches to be found here are links to localized National Weather Service storm reports encompassing Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, Iowa and the Dakotas; up-to-the-minute regional snowcover and snow-depth maps from the National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center; and live radar, satellite and infrared satellite loops.
And that's only for starters. Visitors to the site are also rewarded with a map displaying areas where winter storm warnings, watches and advisories are in effect; snowfall accumulation and long-range cold forecasts; regional temperature and precipitation tables from the National Weather Service; and an animated map showing snow accumulations for the next four days at three-hour intervals.
Yet other features map the current day's new snow depth; current weather conditions localized across Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan; and surface temperatures and wind speeds for the upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions.
The resources go on and on, like a groomed network of cross-country ski trails without end. There are ski-waxing guides from Swix, Toko and other manufacturers. Snowfall, snow depth and temperature for destinations including Marquette, Mich., and Duluth, Minn., as well as for entire states. There is a link to the Northwoods Web Camera Network, displaying images and data for such Nordic skier magnets as Bemidji, Hayward and Grand Marais, along with dozens more. And for long-range forecasts, Bachmeier provides links to choices between six to 10 days out, eight to 14 days and longer.
This is, in short, your one-stop destination for all things meteorological that might affect your cross country skiing, from today through the next couple weeks. And with links to the Madison Nordic Ski Club and other groups that share your interest, about all this resource leaves for you to do is to step into your bindings and go. Even if you don't ski but love winter, this is the place for finding snow.