Friday March 8th, 2012

Greetings and welcome!

We ended up having a sunny finish to the day yesterday, but we got half of the day under our belts before it cleared up. There was some melting along the roads, but nothing too catastrophic.

This morning is again sunny, and we are expecting a high from 34-37 today.

We had a good week for cloudy skies, and made it to the weekend with only minor sunburn sppots here and there, and some bare plowed paved roads. For the most part the trails should still be in great shape. I had a blast Wednesday night and it hasn’t lost much.

All eyes are on tomorrow’s forecast with the pending storm. The guidance from the models varies a little. These are my notes as I did my research this morning..

NAM model-Ok till 4pm, first rain at about 6, more rain 10p-6am, snow by noon Sun

GFS model- Ok till noon, up to 0.1″ by 3pm, up to 0.1″ by 6pm, heaviest 9pm -3am, snow by 10 Sunday

HPC- Ok till noon, up to 0.1 by 7pm, 1/4″ by midnight, light 12-6am, none 6a to 6p Sun

TV- starts as snow late morning, rain by mid afternoon, wet night, snow Sun AM

NWS- The forecast discussion talks about the atmosphere not saturating until Saturday afternoon in eastern WI, starts as snow or sleet late morning, then some rain. Here is a link to their forecast.

The HPC is showing the least rain of the guidance. Here is how it settles out for storm totals..

GFS 1/2-3/4″
NAM 3/4-1″
HPC 0.1-0.25″

This is in RFE, rainfall equivalent. Usually I use a 12:1 ratio for snow, an inch of rain=12″ of snow.  Being on the warm side, I’d figure a 9″-12″ per inch conversion. Between snow expected early and late, I’d guess at about a quarter of the total being snow, but that is mostly a low side guess.

Two things that I am not afraid to say that you probably won’t hear other weather guessers say too often is “I don’t know”, and “I was wrong”. Today it is an I Don’t Know. My best guess is that we will be ok until at least 3pm Saturday. After that come the question marks. If the HPC is right, we will have a good weekend with only 1/4″ total all weekend. If the NAM is right it will get pretty wet Saturday night with up to 3/4 of an inch of rain.

A possibility that isn’t really being discussed is a scenario that showed up in a couple of model runs a few days ago. That would have the storm going about 150 miles south, putting us in the 2-4 or 3-6 band of snow,  and a lot less rain.

Here in my glass half full world I am thinking that it would suck pretty bad to have great trails, warm weather, and a couple of inches of new snow, but everyone sat out the last or second last weekend of the season based on a forecast.

Personally I wouldn’t bet any more on 3/4″ of rain Saturday night than I would on 9″ of snow. I am also not sure that the 3/4″ rain ( worst case) would end the season. I am not siphoning out the tanks just yet, and still plan on riding Mon or Tuesday when I can sneak away for a few hours. That is your call to make.

I will be at the Rapids Saturday from 11am until 5 or 6pm. We open at 11 instead of the usual 7am, and won’t be open Sunday. They are closing for the rest of the month, so it will be my last Saturday of the season. Stop in if you are in the neighborhood and get a picture taken for the web site. Ask me if I don’t ask you. I am always happy to go outside with the camera and like doing it.

Have a good weekend and thank you for visiting!