Sat Dec 11, 2010-Storm Watch-10:30pm


Greetings and welcome!

The snow continues though it isn’t that heavy. As expected the wind is the big story now.

I went outside at about 10:15 with the tape measure and measured 8-9″ around the back yard. Paul Bunyan Riders in Lakewood was reporting 10″ a little after 8pm, and someone from around High Falls phoned in a 10″ measurement to one of the TV stations for the 10pm news.

The TV said that the area was seeing winds up to 30 & 35 mph range and they had a gust over 50. I am good with all of that as I watch clouds of snow gust fitfully past the window.

I just saw on the news that they moved the Minnesota game from tomorrow to Monday night. Apparently the Giants couldn’t jet any closer than KC. The Packers made it to Detroit, no word on and game delays of cancellations as the storm heads that way tomorrow.

In other news I saw that the Town of Riverview moved their winter celebration to next weekend. They had planned on opening the skating pond and lighting the Christmas trees arund it today, but the weather wasn’t nice, so they rescheduled.

In site news the Curve Inn has been added to the list of page advertisers. They have excellent pizza, cheap motel rates, and nice folks. I also helped them set up a pretty strong wifi hotspot.

It looks like the snow is picking up again.

I will be back in the am with the latest.



Now we are getting somewhere..

In the last hour or so the wind started picking up here. At first it wasn’t too much, now it is gusting and driving the snow sideways.

Also new in the last two hours, the snow totals on the storm have been downgraded.  The NWS has us now for 8-12. The radar is showing the heavier bands south of where they were expected by about 50-100 miles. Between here and about FonduLac should be the biggest accumulation. It drops off to the north of here pretty quickly.

The radar is also showing some clearing from the back of the storm over Eagle River and Rhinelander. We might be out of the heavy snow sooner than expected. I can almost guarantee the 8 in the 8-12 because we were close to that at 6. Twelve and higher predictions don’t look good at the moment, at least not around here. You never know, the storm veered right, maybe it will veer back left. It is still snowing.

So far the snow has been very fine flakes. The light snow will pack down well when it settles, but it will blow around a little in the meantime.


The gap that showed up on radar earlier in the afternoon from about Green Bay south and the eastern half of WI has now been closed. The reinforcing warm air and moisture is now coming into the storm in a big way. It never did stop snowing here, and we are probably in the 6″ range.

The latest from the NWS has the blizzard warnings moving north. Now the lakeshore counties up to Green Bay have been added as has been Brown County. They are up to the bottom of Oconto County, not too far away.

Right at sunset the snow seemed to pick up a little in flake size and intensity, but it is still a pretty mellow storm. There isn’t  lot of wind yet, and visibility is still reasonable.

When I was out plowing the driveway I got a look at Hwy C. It was snow covered and slippery. It was passable, but don’t expect freeway speeds. There was not much traffic, only two snow plow trucks went by.

At times like this I use the RUC or Rapid Update Cycle model. It updates hourly and only reaches 6 hours out. According to that everything is about on track. The low is going a little south of where it was expected to, and it looks like it will hit Lake Michigan about at the state line instead of at about Milwaukee.

Now comes the interesting part as darkness, increasing snow, and increasing winds promise to take this storm from a mellow fellow to a wild thing.

I will update again later or in the overnight hours.



I just got updated information seconds ago..

Almost the southern half of WI is now under a blizzard warning. From Marquette and Fon du Lac County south and west back to the state line is under a blizzard warning. So is most of Minnesota. It would not surprise me to see that line go north.

The radar shows a break in the action developing over eastern WI. That is nice, but it you look a little farther south, there is much heavier moisture coming behind the break.

Once that heavier stuff hits it is supposed to get ugly with heavy snow and big winds. So far it has been a nice 5-6″ snow. Now the wind is picking up a little.

I am back off to tackle a few more things.


1pm Update

Greetings and welcome!

The storm is progressing about as expected. We have almost 5″ of new snow here, and it is falling at a light to moderate rate. The snow is very powdery and fine.

At one point since my last visit the NWS scaled back their projected totals in the forecast. They dropped expected totals down toward the 10″ range. This morning they were back up, with an expected 10-15″ by Sunday.

The 9am surface analysis showed the primary low pressure area still over central northern IA and slowly moving in an ENE direction. As slowly as it is progressing it looks like we will be riding the snow train for quite a while.

The wind forecast changed a little. They have us for 15-25mph winds starting this afternoon, then going to 20-30 with gusts to 40 tonight. Sunday the 20-30mph winds stay, but gusts are forecast to go as high as 45.

The snow is light and powdery, and high winds like that will very likely move it around a lot. Not only will it make travel almost impossible with visibility issues, I’d expect 10-15″ of snow driven by that much wind to build some epic snow drifts.

(Flood of childhood memories.. see below)

This snowstorm is going to be very hard to measure accurately. The puffy snow will settle a lot, and the wind will no doubt move it around.

Based on how light the snow is and how much wind that we are expecting, I am going to expect that travel tonight will be impossible. The 20-40 mph winds will bring a whiteout, the slippery fine snow will make roads treacherous, and the snow drifts will sneak up on you since you can’t see. Plan on staying put unless you really need to be somewhere. If you go out in what promises to reach blizzard conditions and get stuck, rescue will be almost impossible too. Make sure that you have a full tank of gas to keep you warm overnight, warm blankets and sleeping bags, and food and water. You might be there for a while, Sunday looks like blizzard conditions too.

The next question is when trails will open. A WAG is next weekend. Chances are that they will want a few days to clear trails and run a groomer over the trails to pack them.

Well I have to go outside and play now. I got most of the important things done yesterday, but I still need to throw in a few days worth of firewood and tie down some tarps. There is also enough snow to go and do a first plowing of the year while I can still see obstacles. I don’t think it will matter once the wind kicks up, but at least I can mark out boundaries.

I will be back later and then again overnight.



I remember one storm like this that made us some drifts to play in that were higher than a 4×4 pickup truck’s roof. My brother & I went out and were drift busting on our old Colts and I ended up getting my points wet. We had no strap, so I pulled the motor and rode home backwards on the back of his sled with the motor on my lap. We took it home, dried it out, and were back at it before too long.

Then there was the one that drifted so much snow past the cedar trees on the north side of the yard that the only way that we knew where Dad’s Ranchero was located was the CB antenna. That was some diggin’.

Also memorable was the neighbor that put the snow fence too close to the driveway. The snow came, the snow fence worked, and he had an 8-10′ snow drift across the length of his driveway that took a Michigan loader to clear. Ooops.