Greetings and welcome!
Depending on where you are planning on riding, the snowmobile trails can open in as little as 7 weeks (Dec 1 in the UP).
The weather is starting to move in the right direction for that. About 10 days ago a storm actually had about 1.5″of snow accumulate near Iron Mountain.
Thursday night I saw my first snow here. It did not accumulate, but it was about a 2 mile wide snow squall where it was really jamming. There was no question of, “Was that a snowflake or two?” This was the real thing with wipers on high and 50′ visibility in the headlights.
Last week we had a warm week that turned very cold, with storms between. Those storms dropped close to 4″ of rain in 4 days, and then the temperature dropped from low 60s to upper 30s and mid-40s. The TV says that Wabeno got down to 21 degrees last night, the coldest that I have seen so far.
In my non-scientific world that is what I consider a season changing storm. Those 60s and 70s aren’t coming back except for a day or two here and there. It is a step closer to winter.
Now with cooler and much shorter days the cold nights can make progress chilling the ground and the lakes & rivers. I’d be surprised if some places didn’t see some first skin ice last night.
We are still expecting an ElNino winter this year. I read an update yesterday that put the odds of an ElNino winter at 70-75%. The good news here is that they are expecting it to be on the mild side.
I really don’t know what to expect from that. Sometimes a mild ElNino or LaNina can end very well for us. I recall a winter 10+ years ago where a mild ElNino brought a lot of snow and a few of those double barrel low pressure systems with 14″ plus. Sometimes it brings all cold and no snow, sometimes it brings 80s in March.
I did spot a paper wasp nest a few days ago. It was a good 15+ feet up. Usually that is a good sign for us, if you believe in that stuff.
Then there is the RPI, the Ray preparedness index. On a +5 to -5 scale, how ready for winter am I? If I am way ahead of the game winter is usually late and mild. Likewise if I am not ready at all, winter will come early and strong. This year it is at a -5, totally not ready. That is good for snow lovers, really bad for me.
Right now the snowmobiles are something that I walk past as I scramble to do firewood and winterize the house and cars. It won’t be that way for long though.
Anyway, time to get back to work. Have a good October and thank you for visiting!
Don’t forget to join a club and get a trail pass early!