Thursday May 28th, 2015

Greetings and welcome!

We had another wet day yesterday. A lot of the day was very nice, but late afternoon a line of storms came through with more heavy downpours. The 4pm line wasn’t a big line of rain on the radar but it made up for it in intensity.

Later on about 7pm another line passed through. On the radar we were just on the eastern edge of the heavy stuff as it approached, but as it got close it continued to strengthen. When the rain hit it was huge drops pounding the roof as hard as I have seen it rain. There was some hail and thunder too, but mostly it was about a 45 minute full throttle downpour. Looking at the radar after it passed it went from just barely grazing our corner of the world with a green edge to a line of red and yellow right over us.

That line of storms has me questioning my rain total for the week. That downpour had to bring at least 1/2” of rain, yet it barely measured on the USGS gauge a mile and a half away at Kosir’s.

Having watched the weather for a long time, and at one time owning a weather station, I can tell you that the rain gauges work very poorly. There is just no substitute for a 5 gallon pail and a tape measure.

Anyway, at one point I found that doubling the reading of the USGS gauge verified pretty well with my bucket. A while back they modified the size of the pipe that collected the rain and it came up a lot closer to what I measured. Last night’s downpour has me again second guessing the gauge. It totally gushed for 45 minutes and the gauge only measured a couple of hundredths of an inch. No. I don’t think so Tim.

So at that point I am finding the total of 2.75” since Sunday afternoon very much in question. It would not surprise me if people had overflowing rain gauges (that usually go up to 5 or 6”).

There is yet another line of storms expected for Friday. It is another deal where a hundred mile shift in the line can mean the difference between 0.25” and 1.5”. According to the TV weather channel out of Green Bay’s current prediction animation, we are pretty close to the 1.5” area. The HPC QPF has us in the 1.0-1.25” band. After that we are in for a cool but nice weekend.

The whitewater rafting this weekend will be outrageous. The Peshtigo River will probably hit +24 later today, we still have a lot of water coming from the upper reaches of the long narrow watershed, and another inch plus of rain coming Friday. They will be running big rafts with 6-12 people in them and getting a great ride.

After 15 years of taking pictures on the Peshtigo and another 10 paddling it I can tell you that at +28 something magical happens to the river and it gets really really really big. The slide rapids get these big standing waves that go 6-8 feet high or bigger, and you had best hit them hard even in the big boats. It is a heck of a ride that will leave you with a Grade A adrenaline buzz. That is my prediction, I do expect it to bust through the +28 threshold for the weekend.

It is rare to have that happen over about 40 degrees when we are boating the spring runoff. I have only seen it a few times. At that point the river will be epic, outrageous, tremendous, stupendous, up-end-us, wild ride fun this weekend, and it is only like $25 to go get that ride. You know what to do. Call Kosir’s and book your spots.

The other river that we raft is the Menominee. That river is much bigger and might well be un-runnable for commercial rafts this weekend. Usually they close it down at about 5,000cfs because it is just too big. At about 7K the first rapid swallows the boat and trashes it, and you are in for about a mile and a half swim down a raging torrent. As of the 1am update it was at 9,260cfs and climbing. I’d be surprised if anyone other than highly skilled boaters ran that this weekend.

The soggy week shut down a lot of outside work. Loggers, road construction crews, excavators, on and on, had a holiday weekend that lasted all week. That should help people breeze through road construction zones.

You might want to bring warm gear for the weekend. Once the clouds part we are in for clear skies and a cool Canadian air mass over the weekend. We are expecting upper 50s or low 60s for high temperatures and it could go into the upper 30s Saturday night. There might even be a chance of frost. Be prepared for a cool weekend.

In other news, I was on a mission this year to get into the fishing boat by the end of May. I have been really overwhelmed with work, as happens every May, and it wasn’t looking good. I really hammered away at it last weekend and I am pretty close to having the boat ready.

The motor is a one pull starter, the trailer has new lights, the flat tires are fixed, the registration is good, and I know where all of the stuff like life jackets and the cork are. The new trolling motor came yesterday and the new trolling motor battery comes home with me from work tonight. I only have a little work to do and it will be time for some here fishy fishy fishy. According to the solunar tables, we are coming into a peak time Saturday and Sunday with the full moon coming Tuesday. Even the timing is right.

I am reminded of a sign in a local bar.. On a quiet night in Northern Wisconsin you can hear the fish laughing..

On that note I am going to wrap it up here. Have a good weekend and thank you for visiting!


Wednesday 5-27-15

Greetings and welcome!

The rain yesterday added up to Just under an inch, bringing our total since Sunday to almost 2 3/4″.


That has the river really roaring.




It looks like there is another wave coming later this morning, and some more significant rain Friday.