Monday December 14th, 2015

Greetings and welcome!

Rain Rain Rain!

We have really seen a lot of rain out of this storm. At times it let up a little, sometimes it was steady rain, and at times it just poured. Two things that it hasn’t done is stop, and switch to snow. When I went to Lakewood early Sunday afternoon areas that held water were full to overflowing. Since then we have had at least medium green on the radar and often dark green.

Looking at the national radar map this is a heck of a storm. It is massive in size with really an incredible amount of moisture involved, and it isn’t moving all that fast. We have to have a couple of inches down already, and the NWS is looking for another 3/4” over night and 3/4-1” Monday. The forecast of 2-3” isn’t in doubt anymore, and it is looking a little undersold. Most of the southern half of the state is under a flood or flash flood watch, and our region is too.

When I was outside working Saturday one of the chores was to move a little dirt. I can tell you from the shovel handle that there is no frost in the ground in my back yard, at least not in the first foot of dirt. The driveway was pretty soft too, and it looked more like March or April than mid-December as I was sinking in a little.

The lakes that I travelled past (Waubee and Townsend Flowage) were wide open and had no visible ice along the shorelines. That is pretty crazy for December 14th.

It is supposed to get colder later this week. After 40s and 50s up until Wednesday temperatures should ramp down to a high of 26 Saturday. The lows in the teens should help to start moving things back toward winter.

There is always a but, right? In this case the 16 day GFS is not showing any big freezes, and mostly above normal temperatures between now and Christmas. The current model run shows more rain for Christmas eve, but a snowstorm for Christmas Day.

I took a look at the Peshtigo River gauge and it is going straight up. There were a few kayakers around Saturday catching the spring-like runoff, and they might be back as the river just roars with all of this rain. Normal flow for this time of year is about 225cfs. Right now it is 532cfs and rising fast. I’d be surprised if it wasn’t in the 800-1,000cfs range by Monday night.

I think that we just crossed a Big Snow Page first. I don’t recall ever reporting on whitewater conditions on the BSP in mid-December before.

At any rate, things are pretty ugly right now. The ground is not frozen at all and we have full swamps and standing water in low spots. Lakes and rivers have zero ice. If it did snow right now it would be a real mess. I don’t see that changing a whole lot in the next two weeks.

If I got to pull the levers we would be in for 10 days of high of +5 and low of -25 weather, followed by a couple of 12” snows right after Christmas. That is about the only way that we could salvage the Christmas to New Years stretch and get the season rolling.

El Nino has other ideas.

That is it for this morning.. Have a good week and thank you for visiting!