Cold, Then Forecast Rain. The Weather Is Strange

It has been warm, now it is cold, but it is then supposed to be warm. Over the past week or so, snow has arrived so there is about 6 – 10 inches in the woods with a pretty good base so XC skiing is OK, actually quite pleasant. Valentines Day weekend arrived with sun and 20 degree temperatures on Saturday morning but then around noon, the winds picked up. The morning temperature was history and by 4:00 PM, it had dropped to 5 degrees or so and there was a 20+ mph wind. This made the wind chill in the -20 degree range. Saturday night the temperatures were in the negative teens with it warming to 5 degrees or so by noon Sunday, still with a wind. The forecast, however, indicates snow early Tuesday morning changing to rain with the high temperature in the 40s.

The colder temperatures have made some nice ice patterns on the streams (although what was open water in this picture is now frozen.IMG_7103

Overnight, there must have been a place down stream that froze solid to the bottom of Townsend Brook. This blocked up the water flow and the water came out on the surface and froze solid. Rocks that were out of the water and above the ice are now mostly under the ice. Always something interesting happening but when you have temperature extremes, sometimes interesting things happen. This kind of freezing occurs on streams in the Arctic and the ice dams cause water to flow back up on top of the river ice which then freezes. This may create ice that is many feet thick that may stay for the entire summer. If you are rafting the river, you may find that all the river water goes into tunnels under the ice. You obviously don’t want to go into those tunnels so you have to portage to where the stream reappears. This “ice on ice” is called “auf ice”..

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The bright sun on Valentine’s Day does lift the spirit but the 20 mph + winds lift a little snow, too. The 5 degree temperatures don’t make it particularly appealing to get out and enjoy the lake. Below is snow blowing past Mink, Stamp Act and Cate Islands.

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