Sunday, January 12, 2014

January 12, 2014

The polar vortex retreated back to the north pole, allowing a stubborn temperature inversion to take hold which gave Lake Wicwas over 24 hours of freezing rain.  While the temperatures were well above freezing above 1500 feet in elevation, along the Merrimack River valley the temperature was stuck right at the freezing point.  The trees received only a thin layer of ice,

but the long cold-soak we experienced allowed an impenetrable (and impassible) sheath to form on the ground.

Any surfaces not treated with sand or salt had nearly an inch of beautifully clear ice!

The snow-pack is thick enough that it easily withstood the rain except on the lake, which became mostly saturated.  This afternoon the temperature rose sufficiently to soften the snow up enough to go for a ski, but there was so much debris that came down from the ice that it was more of a maintenance project than a ski event.

The water level in the lake rose a few inches from the rain, and the outlet stream is running strongly.  A few openings were created along the shoreline from the rain as well.

I saw no animal signs today other than an old set of tracks from a fox that sought out the open water for a drink.

A little cold weather now and maybe we will get some skating on Lake Wicwas this year.

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