Wednesday January 5th, 2011

Greetings and welcome!

Not much has changed today that would get us closer to trails for this weekend.

We are expecting a small cold front to bring an inch of snow this afternoon, followed by colder temps and a little wind. There is another chance for light snow over the weekend.

The Iron Snowshoe notified me yesterday that they had reopened their trails. They are still in poor condition and either bare ground or ice, and not much in between.

On my run to Carter this morning I saw that Red Arrow had worked on the stretch between where the  trail crosses 32 north of Townsend and Valley Inn . It looked like they had dragged up some snow from along the trails sides and flattened it off in the middle. From there to Valley Inn it looked a lot better.

Townsend was still mostly bare in town and just north of town, again mostly because the high winds with the blizzard stripped the open area of that storm’s snow. The grade still looked icy down toward Lakewood with some bad spots. Plowed roads and driveways are bare for the most part, with the exception being in sheltered areas where the sun couldn’t hit them. There they are ice.

Slug left word this morning that the Coleman club had closed their trails for a lack of snow.

Since the trails are not worthy of riding it is very likely that I will not be working at Rapids Resort this weekend. I wouldn’t rule out stopping in for one, but I am not expecting to work. Without snowmobilers around they don’t need extra help.

Yesterday I mentioned the Arctic Oscillation. What that is is a way of quantifying pressure differences between the Arctic and about 45ºN. Right now we have a very negative AO, meaning that there is a lot of high pressure at the pole and lower pressure south of 45ºN.

What is happening to us is that high pressure is coming south and blocking our storms. We saw this last winter too, when it left us short on snow late season.

The AO can be one direction or another seasonally, weekly and daily. Right now forecasts vary after about a week, but some are showing a bump up after mid-month, which is good news for us. Often sharp changes in the AO are associated with stormier weather for us. The GFS is showing some chances of snow along a similar time frame and the AO, after mid-month.

This is hardly a definitive thesis on the Arctic Oscillation, but rather a morsel for you weather buffs to learn about while we are waiting for snow. Similar to other teleconnections like the ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) and PDO (Pacific Decadal Oscillation), the AO is related to our weather.

The only confirmed event that I have for this weekend is the poker run drawing at Northwoods Bar with the Near North Riders from Athelstane. If you are in the neighborhood, check it out, they are nice folks and they have a good time at their events. If things work out ok, I might end up there myself.

I checked for posters in Carter, Townsend and Lakewood and did not see any events for this weekend.

Scott asked about my events page yesterday. It is an abandoned work in progress from last year. Use the link on that page to go to Chris’ regularly updated event calendar. She does a good job of scouring papers and writing stuff down when she sees a poster.That is the one that you want.

My abandoned page is only there for reference. Many events are always the same weekend from year to year, only the number changes. For example, the High Falls Radar Run is always the second weekend in Feb. The Paul Bunyan Riders Snow Fun Weekend is always the weekend before the Super Bowl. That is why that page remains there.

That is about it for today. Have a good Tuesday and thank you for visiting!