Monday December 5th, 2011

Greetings and welcome!

It looks like we are in for a cold one tonight. The sky was clear at sunset, and the atmosphere is cold in the lower layers.

How cold? The NWS has us for 12-15 degrees. The air temperature above the cloud deck is at 11F according to Athelstane Weather’s graphic, so that seems like a reasonable forecast. With radiative cooling from the clear skies I could see it going into the singe digits.

We are in for more cold weather as the week progresses. The high pressure that will dominate our weather will bring daytime highs of around 30 until about Wednesday when a cold front comes through. It is not expected to bring much snow, but it is expected to drop our daytime highs into the low 20s by Thursday and upper teens by Friday. The weekend looks like low 20s Saturday and low 30s Sunday.

With highs only in the teen Friday I’d expect Friday night to be a cold one. The NWS has it for 5-10 above, but a clear sky could bring our first sub-zero night in my opinion.

With all of this cold and very little snow cover we will be making ice on the lakes and a lot of frost in the ground. That is a great thing for the long term. It is much more desirable than soft ground and early snow.

The last couple of rain and minimal snow storms have put an ice and snow layer onto the ground. It won’t take much snow on top to make for decent early season conditions.

It will be nice to have a little something under the first few snows instead of having the first wave of sleds pound it down and blow it off of the trails.

For now we have to settle for the cold weather, but the far reaches of the GFS forecast model have the high pressure eventually moving off to the east, followed by a parade of small storms. That should be enough to get the riding started. The storms for the 13th and 16th look like minor snowmakers, but the one for the 18th looks  little more productive with 1-3 or 2-4. There are no big storms for us showing up in the 16 day model, but that can change quickly.

So for right now we wait while the lands and lakes freeze up. It is still up in the air if the trails will open with good conditions on the 15th, or if we will be waiting for more snow.