Saturday, February 19, 2011

February 19, 2011

Today the temperature dropped 35 degrees relative to yesterday, to a more seasonal 20 degrees by mid-afternoon, and it's on way down to about 8 degrees overnight, a change of some 45 degrees in 24 hours.  The lake looked much different today, with a strong squall blowing through in the morning, and then gusty winds blowing the new snow all day.  Laconia airport reported winds as high as 49 mph.  This picture shows the squall just as it came from the north, from the left side of the picture.  In just a couple of minutes there was a complete white-out.  It only lasted about half an hour, and within a hour the sun was out.

I did check the ice today.  From top to bottom it looks like this:  1 inch of snow, 5 inches of white ice (frozen slush), about 8 inches of slush, and finally 11 inches of solid black ice.  A total depth of 24 inches not counting the snow on the top.

Friday, February 18, 2011

February 18, 2011

Old man winter took at big hit at Lake Wicwas today.  A southwest wind brought in warm air, and with strong sunshine in the afternoon, the temperature rose to 55 degrees!  How often can you actually sit outside and enjoy the sun in February?

There was lots of melting on the lake, on roofs, and on the ground, although there's still two feet of snow pack even in open areas - more in the woods.

The monuments at Oakland Cemetery are starting to poke back up above the snow line.
Oakland Cemetery

First Robin of 2011

And believe it or not, just one warm day brought the first harbinger of spring - we saw our first robin by the stream at the outlet of the lake.

And the mystery of the slush on the lake continues:  today, after a couple of days of temperatures above freezing, and even some rain, the lake is frozen again!  There's still slush in some of the protected coves, but in the open parts of lake there's a couple of inches of snow, and then firm ice underneath.  Maybe tomorrow I'll drill a hole trough the ice and see what I find.

We all know this warm weather is just a tease, as there's plenty more winter weather ahead, but it's enough to remind us that winter will end. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

February 6, 2011

The snow banks around Lake Wicwas are getting pretty high, with two more snow storms this week.  Sadly, the last storm included some freezing rain which put an end to the light dry snow we have had all year.  The lake saw snow, sleet, freezing rain, and even thunder and lightening on Saturday!  On the other hand, the freezing rain did make for some pretty scenes on Sunday morning when the sun came out and highlighted all the ice on the trees.

Fortunately it was a very light rain, leaving only a thin layer of ice, and not causing any notable power outages, at least in the area around Lake Wicwas.  With today's sun the temperature rose above freezing for the first time in quite a while, providing a little melting, but not much.

The skiing was great up until the rain, although slow going because the snow is so deep.  We went for a snow shoe today, and even that is a challenge.  In the woods, even with a little crust, we still sank deep into the light snow below.  And on the lake, the slush is just a couple of inches below the surface - it's faster traveling than in the woods, but you don't want to fall!  But the sky cleared out, and it was a beautiful day. 
Looking South toward Tucker Mountain

Certainly the animals aren't traveling much at all.  On a long ski yesterday over to Lake Pemigewasset I only saw one set of fox tracks the whole way.  Mobility for the deer is extremely difficult, and at this point they are staying in the small area of their yard.

There is pretty heavy loading of snow on roofs and decks - anyone with concern should consider having it cleared off, especially if we get more snow.  I can provide a local reference if you're interested.  At least there will be a couple of days this week where temperatures are forecast to get above freezing.