October 12, 2019

The first part of this update is cross posted from the Northerndestinations site. The second half is Big Snow Page stuff. Read on!

First snowflakes in Silver Cliff!

Greetings and welcome!

We had a storm hit us late this week that brought some rain but it also brought a drop in temperatures. A couple of days ago it was almost 70 outside. Today we are in the 30s and 40s.

Last night we had our first low temperatures in the 30s. The TV said that Wabeno hit 31. I did not see any signs of frost on the ground or windshield this morning so it was not a very hard frost or freeze.

This afternoon the radar was showing some patchy areas of snow over us. Several trips to the window found no snow falling. As of 4pm it was snowing but it is too light to photograph. The radar shows more on the way. We could actually see a little white grass or slushy car hoods if the storm gets a little carried away.

Fall colors- In my opinion the colors peaked Thursday. It was beautiful just about anywhere. Mother nature decided that it would be a short show. Friday’s rain and wind took some leaves down. Today we had 30+mph winds that took more. There will be fall color for a while yet, but some are on the way out.

Big Snow Page

Next weekend is the Snowmobile USA show in Milwaukee.

I have not even looked at my snowmobiles yet. I am really overwhelmed with work this fall and my outside work like firewood and house maintenance are almost a month behind the usual month behind. I just started on firewood this week and have about ½ cord split and stacked out of about 7 that I will need. Normally I start that after Labor Day.

This brings me to the next topic.. the weather..

It has been hard to get my outside work done because it has been raining three or four days a week. I had a couple of decks that really needed stain before winter, but even after a couple of dry days they were just too saturated.

This summer and fall have been very wet. I expect that above normal precipitation to continue into winter. One tool that forecasters use is called an analog. They look at other similar years or patterns and see how they worked out. The closest that I can come to what we have seen this summer and fall is last year. That would give winter an early start and a very snowy finish.

We will not see what happens with the ENSO, the El Nino Southern Oscillation until December. Last year we had ENSO region (ONI) sea surface temperatures of about 0.8C above the baseline. Technically it was a mild El Nino. Current forecast models are averaging at about 0.5 or 0.6 above the baseline, putting us into ENSO neutral conditions or a mild El Nino again. That is a lot like last year too.

My old favorite, the paper wasp nests (about as accurate as a coin flip) suggest a good snow year. They are between 12 and 15 feet up this fall. That is a little higher that I’d like to see them but not bad. Too high or too low have usually been associated with a bad winter for us.

A friend that is an actual professional forecaster mentioned that we could see some arctic incursions this winter. The news buddies call it the polar vortex. That means some bitter cold, which usually blocks the big storms from us. That’s ok if the bitter cold comes- in December and early January to freeze the ground up.

In the end I am expecting an early and harsh winter for us. My vision has us a little ahead of normal freezing up the ground, lakes, and rivers. I am about 50/50 on rideable snow before Christmas. Once we get into January and later in winter I am expecting more snow and mixed storms like we had last year. I don’t think that it will be a prefect winter but all of my arrows point to a good one for us.

I will be around more once winter gets closer. In the meantime it is double time on my fall work. Have a good fall and we will see you soon.

RJB