Wednesday January 31st-Updated

Update- I saw this morning that the High Falls Fish-O-Rama is on. They are skipping the fishing and radar runs, and putting the big tent up on land. The party is on!

Greetings and welcome!

The El Nino winter continues to absolutely destroy our season. Right now all trails are closed and the only motorized recreation allowed is ATV/UTVs on some paved town roads.

As I look ahead a week I see no snow and daily temperatures in the upper 30s and low 40s. It doesn’t get any better in the 16 day outlook.

I got news yesterday that a guy went through Caldron Falls on his ATV up by Landing 11. It has been an absolutely terrible year for ice on the lakes.

On that note.. Wendt’s Sandbar up in Townsend usually has bed races out on the ice this coming weekend. With the bad ice they shifted gears a little. Instead of bed races they are having a kickball tournament in the parking lot with contestants wearing blow up Sumo fat suits. Sounds fun and creative.

This weekend is also the outhouse races at the Firelane Bar in Athelstane. I’m not sure what the plan is there, but I have not heard anything about a cancellation.

The big High Falls Fish-o-Rama is coming up Feb 10th. They cancelled the radar runs in January because of ice conditions. Hopefully they can figure something out for at least the Fish-O-Rama and Winterfest part.

I saw yesterday that three local towns are putting road bans on in the coming days. Road bans are weight restrictions while the frost comes out of the ground and the road base is soft. They don’t want big trucks tearing up the roads. Road bans usually come in March or April, not the end of January. Not good.

I have some forcaster friends that seem to think that the polar vortex is again going to swing this way for the second half of February. Hopefully it brings a lot of cold and two feet of snow. A guy can wish..

I looked to see how our El Nino is doing. It is getting a little weaker but is still well above the baseline. They do expect it to break down but there is a lot of discussion about if it will happen in March or as late as June.

It is my observation that when the El Nino breaks down we can see some very active weather. If it happened soon enough we could see a big storm or two. If it comes too late then it is just a big mess and not helpful. The ENSO region SST numbers are down a little but not enough yet.

February is a big month around here for snowmobiling and related events. I would like to encourage you to visit and hit those events even if the trails are closed. The trail stops could use your business. It has been a brutal snowmobile season and the next tourism season doesn’t come until about mid-May. When we were out both last Friday and Monday all of the places that we passed were abnormally slow. Not good.

That’s news for today. Have a good week and thank you for visiting!