Tuesday Evening 1/24/15

Greetings and welcome!

I think that winter is finally starting to get here. Temperatures are such that it is getting pretty cold at night (16ºF last night) and the mid-30s daytime temps are not enough to reverse the night’s chilling all of the way. At that point we are at least making some progress toward freezing the ground and lakes.

Once I wrap it up here I am finally heading out to the well house to start the heater and halogen lamp. The criteria is that it can handle a night in the teens if it gets to more than 40 in the daytime.

The low of 6ºF Saturday night had me running faucets, and did freeze my exposed shower drain solid. I had that open for an insulation project, and it didn’t fare well.

It looks like a clear night and it is already down to 25 so it is time to call it and plug in the heater, lamp and heat tape. I would estimate that it costs $1-1.50 a day, so I wait as long as I can.

The storm Thursday is one that a 50 or 100 mile adjustment in the storm path and how much cold air wraps into the storm will mean the difference between nothing and a 1-3″ or 4-6″ snow.

Right now my best guess is that it will start with some rain Wednesday afternoon and night. It will get light or even stop Thursday morning. Expect rain, freezing rain, and fog. that is all light stuff off of a storm up in Canada.

The second storm out of the southwest will come about Thursday morning, and right now that looks like the rain/snow line will be right in the neighborhood. The TV weather channel 2-2 out of Green Bay has it switching over about noon Thursday and snowing into the next morning.

The ground and roads are frozen enough that they will turn rain into ice and hold snow, at least at night. The low 40s Wednesday and Thursday might change that during the day, but I’d still watch out on side roads.

The NWS has a chance of freezing drizzle tonight that might get things a little icy for the morning commute. More drizzle tomorrow afternoon might again glaze side roads, especially where the sun can’t hit them.

So we have some interesting weather ahead in the short term, and I am not really sure how it will turn out.

In the longer term I am seeing a warm spell for the first week of December. Hopefully that doesn’t get too out of control.

The other night I was kicking around a theory that the ground will freeze faster and deeper because we have had a very wet Fall. It is pretty well saturated and low spots are holding water. The theory suggests that water is an effective transmitter of heat and soggy soil will freeze faster when it does get cold.

My travels in the past day took me east toward Michigan. I saw that Mud Lake had skinned across, while the lake across the road that connects to the river almost had no ice. The difference is that Mud Lake is pretty shallow and cools faster. The same goes for Waubee Lake not being frozen, but Townsend Flowage being skinned over Sunday.

We are way behind last year, but we are getting there.

I have this little thing called the RWPI, the Ray’s Winter Preparedness Index. It is roughly how many day work I have ahead of me fixing cars and snowmobiles, doing firewood and insulation and things like that before I am really ready for winter. Right now it is at about a -14, two weeks behind. At that point I had better run along and get to work.

Have a good Wednesday and thank you for visiting!