Remembering Famed Snowmobiling Meteorologist John Dee

Heartbreaking news is tumbling out of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula as word begins to circulate about the passing of famed snowmobiling meteorologist and website guru John Dee on November 14. He was 57.

Dee was perhaps one of the most popular people in the snowmobiling community that most people hadn’t actually met. His website brought long- and short-term snow forecasts from a snowmobiler’s perspective, and the site’s webcam network allowed riders to get immediate feedback on snow conditions.

John Dee
John Dee shared his love of his family with his website followers. He posted this pictured of he and wife, Nora, on social media.

Meanwhile, the message boards he started on his website were also extremely popular, and brought together an entire community of riders.

But more than any of that, John Dee shared his life with his fellow snowmobilers through insightful journal entries on his website that exuded personality. He shared his love of weather, of snowmobiling and of his family through a lot of anecdotes. After reading his journal, you felt like you had a personal relationship not just with John but with his family and even with his beloved dogs. Each journal entry ended with “Good Night from the Keweenaw – JD.” 

Professionally, his career involved doing long-range forecasts in the agricultuaral industry. Personally, he was a natural-loving person who loved snowmobiling and who invited all of us into his life.

Dee was also open about some health struggles that had challenged him over time. A freak accident in September during lawn mowing put him in a neck brace for a while. He was mostly recovered from that, but in his most recent journal post on October 29, Dee wrote, “First, my apologies for being absent. I did have full intentions to write last Sunday, but got trapped at the Mayo Clinic again. Nora and I traveled there on the 16th for some tests on that day, as well as into Tuesday and Wednesday. All went well with the tests, except they were not happy with the functions of my heart and kidneys, so I got admitted Wednesday afternoon and spent the next 7 days in the hospital. They were successful in getting the numbers for both organs to a level where I could return home.” He then of course transitioned to his excitement for the coming winter and seeing the season’s first snowfall.

According to his obituary, he died November 14 in Rochester, Minnesota, home of the Mayo Clinic.

UPDATE: His obituary said John Dee was “undergoing evaluation for a heart transplant” when he passed away. Click through to read his obit.

John Dee Fondly Remembered

The outpouring of messages on social media as well as on has been dramatic, as people from all over the Snowbelt are mourning his passing.

Among the posts were notes like these:

“He truly built something special with this site where many feel a close bond to a person they’ve never met.”

  “Although I never had the pleasure to meet John in person, his passion for the sport and his FAMILY shined thru on this site.”


John Dee
This is one of dozens of posts of people grieving John Dee’s passing.

“He will never be forgotten. John had an amazing gift of connecting with people and sharing his love of nature’s beauty.”

“Think of the relationships and friendships bonded because of John Dee. Legendary.”

Kip McIntyre of Pat’s Motorsports in Greenland, Michigan, told us Thursday, “John was always so happy-go-lucky. When you saw john, he was always smiling. I think the most any of us can hope for is to make a difference in people’s lives, and he embodied that.”

Kip’s brother, Chad McIntyre of M&M PowerSports in Hancock, Michigan, added, “I think everyone knew him as a kind person,” Chad said. “He was fairly private in real life but he shared his story online with everyone. He also serve as a board member and president of Keweenaw Trailer Services/Keweenaw Snowmobile Club for several years. He was the best ambassador our area and sport could’ve asked for.”

John Dee
Another post about John Dee’s assing.

Words From John Dee

It’s pretty dated now, but today seems like a good day to share this: In the February 2011 issue of Snow Goer magazine, we had a short Q&A with John where he told about his love of snowmobiling, why he started the website and more. Enjoy.


One-On-One With: John Dee

Something clicked when John Dee took his first meteorology class at Purdue University. Something else clicked when he took his first visit to the snow-covered town of Houghton in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. In 1999, the meteorologist snowmobiler moved to Houghton and began posting snow-centric weather reports on his own website, Today, is one of the most popular sites for snowmobile enthusiasts in the world. In the winter, it can get up to 70,000 unique visitors a day. “Had I known that it would have grown into something like this, I probably would have picked a more clever domain,” he says.

SNOW GOER: At what point did you realize that this website was on to something?

JOHN DEE: “After about a year, the company that was hosting my website said it couldn’t support it any longer because the traffic was so high and it was crashing their servers. It started as a labor of love and I had no idea into turning it into a money maker. I think it ran for two years without any income-generation mechanism. It’s not to the point where I can live off of it, but it’s a nice secondary income.”

SG: What gets your excited about the weather?

JD: “A big storm headed for the U.P. Other meteorologists are giddy about tornadoes or hurricanes. For me, if there’s a big storm headed our way, I sometimes have problems sleeping. I’m like a little kid. It’s just so fun to watch the snow fall and pile up a foot or two. Sometimes I get depressed when it stops.”

SG: Have you seen an epic winter?

JD: “I’m still waiting for the epic winter where it goes wire-to-wire with a lot of snow. We’ve had some good winters, some not-so-good ones and last year was pretty bad. There is a standout storm, though, and that was April 2007 where we received 54 inches of snow and some places up to 70 inches. In my eyes, that’s epic. We were still riding two weeks after the storm.”

SG: Where are your favorite places to ride?

JD: “I don’t’ really have a secret place. My favorite things, and why I backcountry ride, is to explore and to see new things. My favorite places are the new places. It doesn’t have to be any super, fabulous terrain or an overlook – that’s icing on the cake. I just like to find a logging road that I’ve never been down and explore it.”

Editor’s Note: Every Snow Goer issue includes in-depth sled reports and comparisons, aftermarket gear and accessories reviews, riding destination articles, do-it-yourself repair information, snowmobile technology and more. Subscribe to Snow Goer now to receive issues delivered to your door or directly to your computer for a low cost.

27 thoughts on “Remembering Famed Snowmobiling Meteorologist John Dee

  • Avatar for Matt

    RIP JD. Great man and great passion for the sport. You will be missed.

    • Avatar for Evan J Baldwin

      Rip. You will be missed. Enjoyed reading your weather reports over the years.

  • Avatar for Mike

    When I woke up this morning and saw that John had passed, it brought me to tears. I’ve never met John personally, but it felt like I lost a family member.
    My deepest condolences to Nora, Gracie, and all the John Dee family of friends and followers.

    • Avatar for Lela Laurent

      We relied on his predictions, forecasts and trail cams when preparing our backpack trips all over the UP. May you rest in peace and all your heavenly trails be pillows and marshmallows 🙏 😢❄️

  • Avatar for Mark Nystrom

    JDs weather forcast was always helpful on planning a trip up north! He will be missed but not forgotten! Think Snow! His favorite !

  • Avatar for Claudette Tipton

    When I saw that John had passed, I could not believe it. He was such an icon in the Northwoods. Nora and Gracie, you have our deepest condolences, and we will always have you in our thoughts and prayers. Always keep all your wonderful memories close to your heart and he will always be there. Think Snow. RIP John Dee

  • Avatar for Richard Bearzotti

    To Nora and Grace, John as unpacked so many lives and people, I am sincerely sorry to here news about John, I will truly miss his web reports, like loosing a family member

  • Avatar for Alex Tiensivu

    I was stunned to hear John passed. God bless you, Nora and Grace. God be with you. I talked to John a few times and even though I live in Alabama now, every night I think of those words… “Goodnight from the Keweenaw”.

  • Avatar for DJ

    What an influence even though I lived so far away for 30+ years. Grew up in the eastern UP and didn’t find his site until I moved but went to the site weekly to check in and revisit great memories of my old stomping grounds. Hopefully he knew, what a great service and impact he had on people’s lives and emotions.
    His wife and family are fortunate to have spent time with a great memory maker. Seemed he lived his best life with all of us.

  • Avatar for Gary Carlson

    Lost a great one in the sled industry…. Was saddened to wake up at dear camp in the UP and hear of his passing…. He will be missed… sending Prayers to his wife and daughter

  • Avatar for Curt Diesner

    I was a regular visitor to the John Dee website. His ability to predict the weather is/ was second to none.
    I live in NE Illinois and most times John’s predicted precip. was more accurate than the local forecast.
    The trail cam pictures were always helpful for planning a trip and of course his written words made you feel like you knew him well.
    Sending my prayers to John’s family and close friends.
    RIP John, you were truly one in a million.

  • Avatar for Horkn

    So sad to have read this today. I never met John, but I appreciated and read his forecasts habitually, using his forecasts to plan snowmobiling trips around. You’ll be surely missed John, RIP.

  • Avatar for Carl

    John was a special man in many ways. I recall the first time I went to his website I was like “how cool is this”. He was a snowmobile icon. I nominate him for the snowmobile hall of fame for what he did for our sport. Thoughts and prayers to his family. May some greater good come from such a great loss. RIP JD

    • Avatar for Kevin Hooper

      I was just saying that to my wife he did more for our sport than anybody RIP John you will be missed by all that knew you !!!

  • Avatar for Paul Francia

    WOW RIP John thank you for everything.
    When I started my webcam site on the Tug Hill Plateau in NY I had several conversations with John and we shared each other’s link. he was always helpful and positive..

    • Avatar for Eric Girdham

      I never had the opportunity to meet John, however I feel I just lost a friend. He will be missed. Think Snow!!! Eric

  • Avatar for Dave Kohl

    I am from Appleton Wisconsin I not only visited his site in the winter also in the summer where he Keats shared the most awesome sites in the UP for every season. I will always envy him for his love of nature and his weather forecasts. He met his soul mate and they have a wonderful family. RIP John and I will never forget yiu always saying Goodnight From The Keweenaw🙏

  • Avatar for Dave Kohl

    I am from Appleton Wisconsin I not only visited his site in the winter also in the summer where he Keats shared the most awesome sites in the UP for every season. I will always envy him for his love of nature and his weather forecasts. He met his soul mate and they have a wonderful family. RIP John and I will never forget yiu always saying Goodnight From The Keweenaw🙏

  • Avatar for Andy Erlewein

    I’m not a sled head but followed John Dee for his snow reports, I’m a cross country skier. Each fall I looked forward to his season forecast, with disclaimer of course. His webcams, stories and snow reports will be missed. I hope for peace and grace to his family.

  • Avatar for Daniel DeWolfe

    Wife and I loved that guy, The stories coming out of the Bergland Bar were a “Hoot”. Had to visit just to see that area, great times, RIP. John.

  • Avatar for Tom Plaht

    What a great contributor to the snowmobile world. I never went north without checking on his forecast. RIP John, wish I had met you in person!

  • Avatar for Eric Hansen

    Very sorry to hear of John’s passing. He was a fabulous resource, and service to the broader community. I’m a Milwaukee based Nordic skier and checked his forecast several times a week during the season. In many ways he was the patron saint of Upper Great Lakes snow lovers. His affection for us, and the love of snow, was matched by our affection for him. Thanks John, you will be remembered and missed.

    RIP John Dee. Condolences to Nora and Grace.

  • Avatar for Michael Coley

    I’ve lived in Texas for the last 40 years but loved reading his weekly journal posts. When a big storm was brewing you could feel the excitement in his words. My condolences to Nora and Gracie. Just know that he touched a lot of people across the country for a very long time.

  • Avatar for David M Cudlip

    So sorry for his family’s loss. While working for a small municipality and plowing snow all winter, my colleagues and I would check in daily with John’s winter forecasts. He was one of the best and will be missed. RIP John.

  • Avatar for Richard

    So sorry to hear that john has passed.
    Although I never met him, you couldn’t help but know that he was a good person.
    His forecasts were always explained so well and most of the time very accurate. Our trips to the U.P. were always planned around his forecasts-never disappointing.
    John, may your trails always be white and continuous.

  • Avatar for Brian Birschbach

    I am a forest fairy from snow-starved Waukesha Wisconsin. I have followed John’s 1-4 day & 5-10 day maps & accompanying color commentary for 15+ years in planning XC training and road trips north to chase snow. Checking for John’s updates every morning around 7am became a winter routine. I became an avid snowmobiler only two years ago. I’ve enjoyed many successful ski & snowmobiling trips to northern WI & Upper MI thanks to John’s spot-on forecasts which have consistently out-performed Milwaukee area TV forecasts, Accuweather and the Weather Channel. Only Weather Underground comes close to the John’s gold standard. My sincerest condolences go out to John’s family. His passing is truly a great loss for the snow-loving community well beyond Upper Michigan.

  • Avatar for mel ahrens

    I can not believe how emotional I got after finding out he passed. I too never met the man but truly brought you into his world. He truly was the snowmobile guru. I shared his site with many friends who also got hooked . it is a true loss for everyone. Thoughts and prayers to the family and gods speed to John Dee!! Thanks buddy.


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