Saturday November 24th, 2012

Greetings and welcome!

We had a lot of lake effect snow show up on radar last night. Some areas actually had accumulating snow. The weather on TV this morning said that Rhinelander saw 3.8″ and Antigo saw 2.8.

The radar showed the snow coming pretty hot n heavy just south of here, but when I was at Curve Inn for work it was just wind blown flurries. A little dusting accumulated on a cold shed roof, and there were a few little waves of snow that blew across the road with the gusts, but it did not accumulate to anything noticeable.

The radar showed an area from just south of here getting snow, and the heaviest bands between Shawano and Appleton and another heavy streak from about Stevens point to Oshkosh. Checking the web cams this morning Shawano had a little on parts of a roof, but that was it. That was surprising because the radar showed them getting hit pretty good. My guess it that the wind took it and blew it somewhere else.

Radar returns showed that an area just east of Marquette, MI and a streak heading SW from there got hit pretty good. The rainfall equivalent was in the 0.6-0.8″ range. At a typical 12:1 snow to rain ratio that we see around here that would be 6-8″, but lake effect snow has a much higher ratio, so I would be surprised if they didn’t see over a foot on some spots.

The same thing was happening just north or Traverse City, MI in the far northeastern lower UP with the cold wind coming off off Lake Michigan. It was a narrow band, but they showed rainfall equivalent totals similar to the area east of Marquette, so the guess is that they saw a foot or more.

In both cases it was not showing up as widespread snow, but rather in a very specific area. The NWS last night was warning about this where a few miles could make the difference between heavy snow and slick roads and clear skies and no snow.

Now the storm is moving off to the east, and northern Ohio and western Pennsylvania are seeing winter weather advisories for the lake effect snow. Again they could see a good dose of accumulating snow in the specific areas that are lined up just right with the wind coming off of the lake.

We got skunked as far as accumulating snow around here, but we could see up to an inch tonight. A second smaller storm is passing to our north, and is expected to bring a little snow, along with a reinforcement of the colder than normal air. We might get a little white on the cold surfaces, but an inch is the max according to the forecasts that I saw. The models I saw yesterday had it for 0.01-0.1″ of rainfall equivalent, call it up to an inch.

I noticed yesterday on the way to work that the lake along the road and Caldron Falls Flowage were not making much progress freezing up even though it was so cold. I guess a 20mph wind gusting to 45 will do that, keeping the water moving too fast to lock up. I’d expect that to change very quickly today when the wind dies down.The choppy waves make a very effective heat transfer mechanism, and once the wind slows down we will probably see a lot of ice start forming. It looks like that is probably happening today, the TV says that Wabeno is only at 18º as of 11am, and wind is down to 6 mph. The wind chill was 9ºF.

A passing thought this morning is that people with unheated cabins and water systems will want to get on winterizing them. We can take nights in the upper teens if we have warm days, the building will store enough daytime heat. Now that we aren’t going above freezing for daytime highs, and lows are in the upper teens and low 20s, water systems will be at risk.

The sun isn’t much help with us less than a month from the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year and the lowest sun angle. Supposedly that will coincide with a galactic alignment, the end of the world, or at least the end of the Mayan calendar. I am not really on board with the end of the world stuff, but.. the 21st is a Friday. If we have a couple of feet of snow and great trails by then, I’ll be a little nervous. I have seen many Fridays get sunny and 55 and kill off great trails that my weekend friends heard about all week and were planning on riding the next day. In that context I’ll allow it an extra five or ten percent credibility if we have trails.

Anyway.. We didn’t get any accumulating snow last night, but areas an hour or less away did. Some of the areas in the UP and NW lower MI really hit the jackpot. It looks like we will have to wait and see what tonight’s smaller storm brings. It cold be our first white ground that stays more than a few hours, and our first frozen and slippery roads.If it happens I will be on it with pictures and an update.

Have a good weekend and thank you for visiting!