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Nov 24

Monday 11/24/14

Greetings and welcome!

We had some rain last night, but it wasn’t as bad as expected. Most of the heaviest stuff stayed south and east. It didn’t do much today until mid-afternoon when a light drizzle or an occasional ice pellet cloud would pass by.

112414aBy sunset it had satrted snowing lightly, and by 5 we had about 1/2” in Wausaukee. At 6 when I got home I had almost 2” on the front step. When I stepped out back at 7:15 I measured 3” and maybe a little more in spots. It is still snowing and blowing pretty good, I wouldn’t be surprised if it went 4-5” before it was over.

The ride home was pretty wicked. The powdery snow was coming down fast enough that it was hard to see more than about 50′. The wind was whipping it around too. With no plow piles, fog lines, or other guidance, it would be easy to loose one’s way and hit a ditch or miss a corner. It was slippery stuff too.

Sunday night after sunset we started to get some light rain and the fog really thickened up. It was sub-50 foot visibility in spots. That was some ugly driving conditions too.

The weekend didn’t go well for us at all. Sunday’s near 50s and wind, plus the rain and fog, really took down the snow and ice cover. I still had a compact layer of slushy snow and ice here in Silver Cliff, but in Wausaukee they lost most of their snow. One spot even had the top inch or so of ground soft. The ice on the lakes and rivers took a hit too. The weekend definitely took some of the edge off of our head start on winter.

Right now our normal high temperature is 36. The forecast that I am seeing on the TV weather channel out of Green Bay is showing only Saturday coming close with 34. Otherwise we are looking at mid-20s Tuesday and Wednesday, and low 20s Thursday and Friday. At least we are on the right path.

I gotta tell ya, I am a little nervous about our El Nino. There has been a jump in temperatures in the key regions recently. In the colorful image that big red stripe along the equator is our El Nino. We generally want to see that below +1ºC. As you can see, it is there. I also don’t like the slope and trend of the line in the graph.

112414b 112414c

You can find these graphs and more here, http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/ocean-page/oceanic-oscillation-page and you can click through the graphs to see them at their sources.

I don’t know how this is going to play out. Our weather has been mostly below normal for temperature, and above normal for precip. We could moderate that twenty degrees below normal stuff a little, but generally it would be a favorable trend for winter.

Squib pointed out a while ago that just because the weather trend is positive now, that doesn’t mean that it will be when the season rolls around. Yeah that rings a bell.. an El Nino year with a very promising fall and a disappointing winter. I also remember one El Nino year about 99 or Y2K where I was cutting firewood at 55 degrees in December, and one where we always got the bitter cold and anywhere but here got the snow.

The name El Nino translates to The Boy Child, and is a reference to Christmas when the effect would become apparent. We still have some time. I am not sure how this ends, but I am a little nervous about where it is going.

That is it for me tonight. Have a good night and thank you for visiting!

RJB

Nov 23

Sunday November 23rd, 2014

Greetings and welcome!

After our ten day stretch of cold we finally broke 32 degrees Saturday. It wasn’t by much, but it was a little warmer. By mid-afternoon the snow was getting very soft, and it easily crushed underfoot. We had 100% humidity, so it didn’t feel all that warm, but it was effective at melting snow.

Later after sunset came the fog and mist. The mist isn’t bad if it adds moisture to the snow pack, eventually that will turn to ice for our base. The fog on the other hand is a snow thief as the warm moist air meets our precious white stuff and evaporates it.

All of this is courtesy of warm moist air in advance of a large and pretty strong storm.  Based on central pressure, it is the strongest storm that I recall seeing in the past month or so. The models are offering up a steep pressure gradient as the storm develops, so I am expecting some pretty good winds behind the main event.

The storm is being shown having a favorable projected path, and plenty of warm moist air to work with. As is typical, it will start with some rain and change over to snow. Unfortunately it looks like we will see almost 50 and rain Sunday, and a pretty good bit of rain Sunday night before the switchover sometime Monday. That could be hard on our existing snow and be messy with the frozen ground under it.

This is where there is a little disagreement in my guidance.. The GFS has it changing over about noon Monday like the North American Model, but the GFS isn’t snowing much snow behind that line. The North American Model is showing precip on the snow side of the storm that easily could go 3-5 or better.

I am leaning toward the North American’s ideas, and I am expecting a pretty interesting finish Monday afternoon and night. Between the puffy snow and strong winds there will probably be some blowing and drifting and ugly travel.

Naturally behind the storm we are expecting a cold blast. We can expect mid twenties for a high temp until Wednesday. Wednesday a clipper will come through with a little snow and more cold air and by the weekend we will be lucky to see 20 degrees for a high temperature.

The ten day stretch of sub 32 weather has been very good for freezing up the lakes and the ground. It is a fine head start. As of Monday the guys from Riding With Dan & Dillon reported 4″ of ice on Bonita Bay on Chute Pond. I haven’t had a chance to go check the local ice, but a cooler left in the car last weekend had 3″ of ice in it Friday night.

This storm is offering kind of a rough start, but a cold and snowy finish, followed by more below normal cold weather. Considering that December is a week away and open trails are three,  it seems like a fine start.

Have a good Sunday and thank you for visiting!

RJB

 

Nov 18

Tuesday November 18th, 2014

Greetings and welcome!

It was another cold one today. We have a brisk 8 degrees as I sit down to do my update at 9:30pm. We had a high of about 18 today, and a low of 7 this morning. Combined with a little wind we had -10 wind chills this morning when I headed out to work.

What I am getting at is that after almost a week of this kind of weather we have well frozen ground, a little sturdy base where it is packed down, and a great start to a lid on the lakes. Waubee was frozen across and had a dusting of snow when I went by Sunday morning. I don’t have ice thickness updates, but we haven’t seen 32 in a week and we have had single digits almost nightly.

The temperature will moderate for the weekend, followed by more cold next week and more normal temps going into December.

We have not seen much snow in the past week. That is actually good, giving the lakes a chance to freeze deep. I have a Facebook friend that was deer hunting in Michigan last weekend. He reported 4′ of snow at his cabin near the base of the Keweenaw Peninsula, and more expected. That should bring riding opportunities when their trails open on 12-1.

That’s news for now. Have a good night and thank you for visiting!

RJB

 

Nov 15

Saturday November 15th, 2014

Greetings and welcome!

Winter came early this year and it looks like it might be here to stay. I would guess that I have 5-6″ down in the yard right now, but you don’t have to travel very far north to cross the 12″ mark. We are looking at another 1-3 tonight.

The lakes are making progress freezing up. Small lakes have started to skin over. The lake about 3 miles east of Wausaukee skinned all of the way over Thursday, and Morgan Lake (about 5 miles west of Wausaukee) actually had skinned all of the way across Friday morning. Reports from the bar last night said that the bays of the flowages have iced over but not the big water. It won’t be long, we had our first sub-zero night last night (-1) and it looks like the cold will reinforce after the snow, bringing another way below normal week for next week.

Our normal high & low temperatures today are 39 & 24. It looks like we will be at about 25 & -1 today.

I don’t see any big warmups coming on the 16 day GFS. It looks like winter is here to stay.

I took some back roads last night and was getting a little excited about how much ice was building up on the roads. There are still sunny spots that are bare, but a lot of it looked better than I have ridden on many March last rides. It is tempting to go for a spin, but the trails are not open and you will get a fat ticket. It also makes land owners unhappy, and we want to avoid that at all costs.

IF I get enough of my work done today I might pull the 500 out of the storage shed and give it a look over and a possible first driveway ride. It is a big IF, the list is a very long one.

Anyway, It looks like we will be ready when the season opens unless something bad happens in the next few weeks. The lakes are making good progress, and we have a good start on snow. So far the biggest snow total that I heard was something like 43″ in Negaunee (?) in the UP. Eric said that Wabeno had 13″, and that sounds about right. It looks like we can add another 1-3 tonight.

There are some areas that the trails can’t open until they cut the corn. That looks like it might be problematic this year. It has been way too wet for them to harvest it, and most is still standing in the fields.

One last item, an opening day forecast. I am looking for a day in the upper 20s or low 30s with increasing clouds. There is a strom coming for Saturday night and Sunday that could bring some rain. The timing of that storm changing a day either way will make a huge difference, so keep an eye on the forecast.

Time to get back to work. Have a good weekend and thank you for visiting!

RJB

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