Greetings and welcome!
It was a great weekend for snowmobiling. We had ample snow on the trails, and from what I saw, a lot of people were out enjoying trails and the comfortable weather. Saturday got up to about 32, and Sunday was a little warmer at 36.
When I was out Saturday the trails started out a little loose but were generally in nice shape. They grew a few whoopties and icy spots as the day went, but it still wasn’t bad.
I took the day off Saturday from the Rapids and went along on a NEW Low Buck Vintage Riders trail ride. I had a great time and a really fun day. I came back to Rapids later and the fun continued. I did a page on the NEW Low Buck Vintage Ride, and there is a link at the bottom of the Pages section to the right. I did a lot of pictures and there is a gallery of them on there.
The day started out at Racer & Lana Rae’s on W about 15 miles west of Crivitz. They had a show of the old snowmobiles, had a barn fresh 77 Arctic Cat Cheetah that they were raffling off, you could get tickets for the raffles at the Pines and back at Racer’s, and there was a lot of socializing going on too. I saw Dan & Dillon there, along with some web site and local friends, as well as club members.
There were probably 40+ old snowmobiles there and a couple of dozen new ones too. Between the NLBVR ride and other snowmobilers, we filled The Pines parking lot to overflowing and had snowmobiles parked across the street. They did some raffles there, socialized for a while and talked old snowmobiles. It was very fun.
I left early and caught pictures of the snowmobiles going by on the trail. I have a full gallery set up on the ride page, but here is a small version.
Click an image to make it bigger, hover over the side of it to get the arrow to advance it.
There are a lot more pictures on the write up that I did on the ride. Check it out.
The 32 and 35 degree days over the weekend were very comfortable for riding, but they brought a reminder that the season is short. That was the subject of some discussion over the weekend. March can be a wild ride. I have ridden on the 31st, and saw 80+ degrees last year.
We have a great start on March with a big ice base and ample snow. If the NWS forecast holds we should have a good weekend coming up. I don’t see anything above mid 30s in the forecast, and a midweek storm should bring down cold air to keep us in reasonable temperatures right through the weekend. I don’t see any big thaws on the 16 day GFS, so it is looking decent long term. too.
The mid-week storm looks like it could go well southwest of us but still bring a little light snow. Right now the GFS is showing the low tracking over about Indianapolis, and ideally it would track over about Milwaukee or Sheboygan. A change in path could take us from getting an inch or three from the edge of the storm to getting some meaningful snow.
As I mentioned above, I like that the storm will bring some colder air in behind it. That should help keep the temperatures from getting out of hand. Our normal high right now is about 30. I consider a +/- 10ºF variability from normals to be pretty common, and up to 20 degrees within normal variability. Being on the cold side of that is a good thing at this time of year.
The biggest challenge that I see short term is maybe to plowed road trails and the occasional sunny corner. Road salt is very effective at 30+ degrees, and the sun is getting warmer. With the clouds and colder weather from the storm, I’d say that unless we get an unpleasant surprise I would expect good conditions system wide again this weekend.
I see yesterday’s mid-30s and the 30 something days this week as a good thing. The snow last week did not have a chance to firm up and bond with the base. Yesterday alone made it much more packable, and it will groom up nicely. Our overnight lows are expected to be in the 10-20 degree range this week, so it will freeze in nicely after the warm days. That will serve us well.
We have some strange weather this morning, 16 degrees and freezing fog. The 36 degree day evaporated some moisture from the snow as it settled it, and when temperatures dropped after sunset, it condensed into fog. With the cold roads, the fog could freeze on and make it slippery in addition to reducing visibility.
That is about a wrap for today. Thank you to all of the people that made it such a great weekend!