Wednesday 4-24-19

Greetings and welcome!
We have a lot to talk about today.

First up is the big paddler’s festival at Kosir’s this weekend. It starts Friday night with live music. There will be on water races and activities Saturday, followed by a Saturday evening meal, usually something that Todd slow cooked or smoked on the grill. Follow that up with more music Saturday night. The on-water activities continue Sunday at a more casual pace with shuttles to the put in at your own timing. This event has been growing and I’d be surprised if we didn’t see a few hundred paddlers. Here is a poster about it.

That brings us to river levels. The Peshtigo has been breaking daily records all week. The gauge has been there 20 years. Today we are running at 2,450CFS, about a +37″. The record for today was 1,740 back in 2008. It has been like that since the weekend, breaking records daily. It looks like it is starting to come down a little today. My wild guess ( and that is all that it is..) is for the water to be some where in the +24 to +30 range for the weekend.

This is serious water, and just a treat for whitewater rafting and paddling.  This is paradise for hard boaters and huge adrenaline adventure for people that raft. Call Kosir’s and get in on the fun. 715-757-3431.

The bridge gauge by Kosir’s Tuesday night at sunset. +37 to +38″.

This week has brought an amazing transformation from winter to spring. The days are getting nicer and the grass went from snow covered to very green in a very short time. I saw my first moth this week. I have not seen the gators (mosquitoes), ticks, or gnats yet but they have to be coming soon. The spring peeper frogs in my pond are really loud now. Vreep.

I have not seen the first leaves yet, but again they are not far off.  Some of the poplars/cottonwoods/birch trees are starting to get their first catkins. They give the tree  kind of hazy look at a distance. The maples should be coming with their little red flowers any day now.

There is a minor detour in Crivitz on Hwy A. They are working on some sort of water project right in front of the Police station. You end up going a block south onto W and following that a couple of blocks and back to A. It is a pretty minor disruption.

The last thing on my list is weekend weather. Friday looks great  with sunny and 56 for a high. Both Friday and Saturday night are headed for a low of 28 according to the NWS.

Saturday gets interesting. There is a big storm shown missing us just to the south. That storm is expected to draw in some cold Canadian air, giving us a high in the low 40s. The forecast animation on the 5pm news tonight showed the north side of the storm actually having  little snow and mixed rain and snow. Much to my delight it also showed the storm staying south of Hwy 64. Thirty or forty miles isn’t much of a margin in the context of a 3 day out forecast, but I’ll take it. The NWS put a 40% chance on us seeing some sort of precip. Keep an eye on the forecast.

Someone asked how the frost-out was coming along. It varies  lot from place to place. The sunny spots in my driveway are firm but wet. I can drive on them making only minor impressions. More sheltered areas are still pretty soft, and low areas are holding a lot of water. We are making good progress. There was not a deep frost thanks to all of the snow, but there is a lot of moisture.

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

RJB

 

Friday April 19th, 2019

Greetings and welcome!

-Water water everywhere!

The big thaw is here.

Tuesday after I wrote my update I headed to work in Crivitz. It was a beautiful 65 degree sunny day. On the way home a little before sunset I could not believe how much snow had melted. Entire fields that were white at noon were completely free of snow at 7pm. The snow in the woods got a little patchier too. Creeks and rivers were at bank full stage.

Wednesday wasn’t quite as warm or quite as sunny. Wednesday afternoon and night brought some pretty good rains and even a few rumbles of thunder. The estimated rainfall out of that was about 1.5″. It would not surprise me at all if local rain gauges had more than that. I would guess at 2″.  That took down a lot of snow too.

At that point the creeks and rivers are going over their banks, and the swamps that feed them have a lot of water. There are flood warnings on the Pike River near Amberg, the Peshtigo and Menominee Rivers closer to Marinette, as well as other regional rivers.

Most places aren’t affected at all, but low spots, flood plains and drainage areas have plenty of water. I have been watching Eagle Creek at Hwy C and it is well over its banks.

The Peshtigo River is running at 2,200cfs, about +33 or +34″. I predicted 30 Tuesday. It blew through that running. The slope of the graph suggests that +36″ seems likely.

It is not the highest that it has been on this day, but it is close. Right now it is at 2,170cfs, and the record high (20 yrs history) was 2,310cfs.  By my goesintas that is about 6% below the record for this day. Not bad.. We will see how tomorrow goes. Keep in mind that it is just today’s record. I have seen it go into the low 50s, and the locals tell of it getting even higher.

At any rate it is going to be some epic whitewater this weekend. It is going to be 65 and sunny and the river will be at its prime. Call Kosir’s at 715-757-3431 and get some real big adventure.

Beyond the wet week and high water.. I am glad that the snow is finally gone. I am seeing landmarks in the yard that I haven’t seen in months. I am very much looking forward to getting a head start on spring cleanup. The north side of the house is still holding snow, the rest of the yard is mostly bare. The driveway is firming up nicely except in the usual muddy spots that are deep.

The deer and turkeys are out by the roads a lot now. I have seen quite a few tom turkeys in full display showing off in the past few days. Also out by the road were porcupines and grey squirrels.

One last thought.. Tuesday when I was near Crooked Lake I saw that Boundary Lake was opening up on the edges. That process has started, and the rain will likely speed it up.

Have a good weekend and thank you for visiting!
RJB

 

 

Tuesday April 16th, 2019

Greetings and welcome!

We did not get any extra snow after my last update. What we did get was some rain on top of the snow. We peaked at about a foot, and it was down to about 8″ by the time that it stopped raining.

The snow that was left behind was incredibly dense and a real pain to move or drive through. The snowblower would ride up over the packed snow so a second pass was required. A lot of places did not plow because the ground under the snow was so soft and the snow was so heavy. Normally in mid-April it would be gone in a day or two. Not this cement snow.

It took a couple of days to melt most of it. Some is still there where it was piled or the sun couldn’t hit it. My driveway got plowed and snowblowed and is back to soft ground. The snow piles remain. Sheltered areas have a very different story, most of the snow is still there.

One thing that the snow did do for us is slow the spring melt runoff. The Peshtigo River dropped about 6″ and has not come back up yet. It is running at about +20″, a great level for whitewater. The smaller creeks and rivers saw the same effect, going from over the banks to just close to it. That is all going to change.

There is a storm for Wednesday afternoon into Thursday that is expected to bring showers and thunderstorms. We could see 1-2″ of rainfall. The rain/snow line on this one is way up in Canada, so hopefully it does not clobber us with another big snow storm.

That rain combined with some upper 50s Friday and mid-60s for the weekend should put the melting process up to go into high gear. I expect the whitewater rafting this weekend to be exceptional, and I would be very surprised if Saturday morning rafters were paddling in 30″ or less for river levels.

The Peshtigo River has certain water levels where it changes dramatically. One of those levels that I have noticed over the years is +28. At +28 the rapids change a lot and the river just goes huge. If you ever have run the river over +28 you know what I am talking about. It is the kind of whitewater that made the Peshtigo world famous. Anything over about 300cfs is really fun. This isn’t like that. This is big eyes full throttle adrenaline buzz grin for two days after kind of fun. I have pictures of 16 foot rafts with a dozen people just disappearing in the rapids at these levels. Take off of work, stand up your mother in law, whatever it takes.. get to Kosir’s this Saturday.

This weekend is Easter. The following weekend the 27th and 28th, is PeshFest at Kosirs. That is a big whitewater weekend where hundreds of boaters get together and eat good, drink, take in live music, and have races and activities on the river. The river will be in its prime for this year’s festival. There are places with 2′ of snow still in the woods and the melting will be in overdrive next week. There will be awesome water levels-guaranteed.

As far as getting into weekend places, conditions vary a lot. My driveway has firm but muddy spots and sheltered spots that are still soft from frost coming out of the ground. Not everyone has it that good. Some places still have a lot of snow, or a lot of snow on top of mud and standing water.

As far as ATV trails opening back up, it is going to be a while. As mentioned above there are sheltered places that still hold a couple of feet of snow, and it isn’t fast melting puffy stuff. The good news is that there isn’t much frost in the ground under the snow, so once it melts the ground will dry out pretty fast.

The lakes are still holding ice, but I don’t see it lasting into May. There is a good chance that they will be clear by the opening of fishing season.

In the world of critters I have seen a lot of turkeys and deer out by the roadsides, and especially sunny southern exposure hillsides. Watch it when you are driving. They both blend in with the grass.

The robins came back last week and promptly got snowed on. Several people reported big flocks of the around the trees where they could get some food. Finding worms under 8″ of cement snow was not going well for the couple that I saw around the house.

Time to make the donuts. Have a good week and thank you for visiting!

RJB

 

 

Thursday April 11, 2019-Storm Watch-Updated 10PM

Storm Watch

Greetings and welcome!

10pm

There is a lot of snow out there. My guess is that there is 10-12″ down, and it is heavy stuff.

My four tape measures elude me at the moment so I have to guess at the snow depth. The TV was on board with my 10-12″ guess. It said that High Fall Reservoir had 10″ and Townsend had 12″.

The snow was made heavy by occasional drizzle and light rain mixing in over the course of the day. My snowblower and plow truck will be working hard tomorrow.

There is something to be said for taking the snow away in several passes in big storms. I declined to do that today. The thinking was that the rain behind the snow would be a lot easier to deal with as really heavy snow than ice on a plowed road. I am not sure if that was a good call or not. My equipment will be well challenged by a foot of wet heavy snow with rain in it.

The storm is still grinding away to our southwest. We are in a dry slot at the moment, but there are more plumes of moisture heading this way. I do expect more rain and snow overnight.

Here are some pictures from 10pm. Note the arrow. I had to kick away snow from the bottom of the car door to get it open. Some was drifting, but the snow was pretty deep.

I will follow up again tomorrow.

BTW.. the whitewater rafting on the Peshtigo will be amazing this weekend. The river went up to +30″ today. That is really big.

RJB

 

1:30pm

We are under a winter weather advisory here in Silver Cliff. A few miles to the west Forest Co is under a winter storm warning.

This storm has been a strange one. The radar showed that it started snowing in our area about midnight last night. We must have had some dry air over us because the snow just wasn’t getting here. The radar showed it moving our way and getting close but it would evaporate right over us and leave us clear of the snow on radar.

Once the snow on the radar did get over our area it still didn’t snow. It showed it snowing over us for much of the night. Imagine my surprise when I looked out of the window at sunrise and there was not a speck of snow, rain, or anything.

Well all of that went away at 7am. The snow started and it has been pretty vigorous since then. I went outside and measured about 6″ down as of 1pm, and it is snowing pretty good.

We are in the 5-8″ band for snowfall, and the TV says that we could see 1/4-1/2″ of ice accumulation from freezing rain late today into tonight. The good news in all of that is that the prediction has dropped for the 1/2″ to the 1/4″ of ice as the day has progressed.

There is a major plume of moisture heading this way on the radar. Will it be rain, freezing rain, or a whole bunch more snow? I will find out in a couple of hours.

This storm kind of spared us by moving north a couple of states west of here instead of over us. Out in MN and South Dakota this is a major major blizzard and a real disaster. What we have is bad enough, but it could have been a LOT worse.

Speaking of heavy snow, I took a road trip west and north of here yesterday. In my 60 mile round trip I counted 11 buildings either crushed completely or had the roofs caved in. There were a couple of garden sheds, and old shacks, but some were garages and big pole barns. It was a bad winter for a lot of people.

Anyway.. I will be back later with a storm update. Have a good Thursday and thank you for visiting!

RJB