29 Dec 2006 10:47:22
Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
MN's Sucky Season

If I see motorcycles on the roads, that's a good sign that the xc
skiing is bad. We've been seeing a lot of motorcycles out during that
past few weeks.

I think there's a real worry among skiers in MN this year _if_ there's
going to be a xc race season. Back in mid-December I said to a friend,
"I wonder how long it will be before we have a winter with only an
occasional 1-2" snowfall." The implied idea was that 1-2" is not enough
to really ski on locally, and that it will not last long enough to
accumulate with the next 1-2" snow. So far this could be that season. I
think we had 1" in December and almost nothing in November.

Early in December, we had a cold snap that allowed the various alpine
ski areas and some xc ski areas to make snow. Without that cold snap, I
think Elm Creek, Trollhaugen and Wirth (our local xc areas) would have
had trouble making snow, and the alpine areas would only be partially
open. Tomorrow looks like the third (if I count correctly) rain event
of the season. I've heard some alpine racers complain that it's hard to
drill gates with the thin snow cover (due to rain).

No snow in the Cities is one thing, but there's no snow in Duluth (that
I've heard of), Hayward, and most of MN. It sounds like Giant's Ridge
has just barely enough snow for rock skiing. If you continue driving,
the Gunflint trail area (5-6 hrs drive) and the UP (4-5 hr drive) have
good skiing. Having northern MN without snow at this time of year is
kind of like having the CO ski resorts closed due to no snow. It's just
odd.

The news media seems on our side since the local ice rinks (for hockey,
broomball, etc) are not being worked until it gets colder, and only the
brave are going out on the lakes for fishing. This is MN, and there are
lots of hocky leagues, broomball and fishing tourney's, and various
festivals based on snow and ice.

The thing is, I don't see a solution to the change in weather patterns.
(Our winters seem to be getting worse each year.) Even snow making may
not solve the problem for long as I said above. If I don't drive my car
at all and unplug from the grid, that will have no effect compared to
the system. People at work think the warm weather "is nice" so there's
no polticial push for the government to do anything. Even with a
political push against the war, there's no real change happening there.

Jay (happy new year) Wenner



29 Dec 2006 13:25:55
Jenny
Re: MN's Sucky Season

don't worry that much.

Here in Washington, we had a very low snow year in 2004-2005. Many resorts
stayed closed. It was an interesting year. Our season's passes were good
for two years since they closed.

However last year was good, and this year is excellent so far with lots of
xc skiing all over the state.

It might just be an anomaly.




"Bjorn A. Payne Diaz" <wennerenator@gmail.com > wrote in message
news:1167418042.728419.234270@h40g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> If I see motorcycles on the roads, that's a good sign that the xc
> skiing is bad. We've been seeing a lot of motorcycles out during that
> past few weeks.
>
> I think there's a real worry among skiers in MN this year _if_ there's
> going to be a xc race season. Back in mid-December I said to a friend,
> "I wonder how long it will be before we have a winter with only an
> occasional 1-2" snowfall." The implied idea was that 1-2" is not enough
> to really ski on locally, and that it will not last long enough to
> accumulate with the next 1-2" snow. So far this could be that season. I
> think we had 1" in December and almost nothing in November.
>
> Early in December, we had a cold snap that allowed the various alpine
> ski areas and some xc ski areas to make snow. Without that cold snap, I
> think Elm Creek, Trollhaugen and Wirth (our local xc areas) would have
> had trouble making snow, and the alpine areas would only be partially
> open. Tomorrow looks like the third (if I count correctly) rain event
> of the season. I've heard some alpine racers complain that it's hard to
> drill gates with the thin snow cover (due to rain).
>
> No snow in the Cities is one thing, but there's no snow in Duluth (that
> I've heard of), Hayward, and most of MN. It sounds like Giant's Ridge
> has just barely enough snow for rock skiing. If you continue driving,
> the Gunflint trail area (5-6 hrs drive) and the UP (4-5 hr drive) have
> good skiing. Having northern MN without snow at this time of year is
> kind of like having the CO ski resorts closed due to no snow. It's just
> odd.
>
> The news media seems on our side since the local ice rinks (for hockey,
> broomball, etc) are not being worked until it gets colder, and only the
> brave are going out on the lakes for fishing. This is MN, and there are
> lots of hocky leagues, broomball and fishing tourney's, and various
> festivals based on snow and ice.
>
> The thing is, I don't see a solution to the change in weather patterns.
> (Our winters seem to be getting worse each year.) Even snow making may
> not solve the problem for long as I said above. If I don't drive my car
> at all and unplug from the grid, that will have no effect compared to
> the system. People at work think the warm weather "is nice" so there's
> no polticial push for the government to do anything. Even with a
> political push against the war, there's no real change happening there.
>
> Jay (happy new year) Wenner
>




29 Dec 2006 16:47:40
Melinda Shore
Re: MN's Sucky Season

In article <en4155$eu7$1@lists.fhcrc.org >, Jenny <jschoenb@whi.org> wrote:
>It might just be an anomaly.

It seems likely that any time you get a record deviation
from whatever's normal it's anomalous, but I guess a
question is to what extent it's part of a trend. Someone
recently asked why after several years of having pretty much
every dogsled race in the lower 48 cancelled due to lack of
snow we're still scheduling them. Habit? Hope?

Anyway, interesting discussion by a meteorologist:

The unusual warmth this winter probably has four main
causes. Firstly, this is an El Nino year, and it is
common for portions of the Northern Hemisphere to
experience warmer than average conditions during these
events. Add to this the warming due to the observed
global warming trend of 1 degree F over the past
century, and the usual natural variability due to such
phenomena as the North Atlantic Oscillation. Now, let's
talk about sea ice in the Arctic. The Arctic Ice Cap has
shrunk by about 20% since 1979, and at the end of
November this year, the amount of sea ice in the Arctic
was about 2 million square kilometers less than had even
been seen in any previous November. December has also
seen the lowest sea ice coverage for any December on
record. All this exposed water provides a huge source of
heat and moisture in the Arctic that retards the
formation of the usual cold air masses over the adjacent
regions of Canada and Siberia. It's impossible to know
how much of an effect this has without doing some
detailed model studies, but I think the record low sea
ice in the Arctic is probably a significant contributor
to this winter's record warmth.

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=604&tstamp=200612
--
Melinda Shore - Software longa, hardware brevis - shore@panix.com

Sending more troops into a war is properly called an "escalation."


29 Dec 2006 14:55:29
runcyclexcski@yahoo.com
Re: MN's Sucky Season

> It might just be an anomaly.

Rent "An Inconvenient Truth" for a second opinion on this.



29 Dec 2006 15:28:23
NewMexSki
Re: MN's Sucky Season

Sorry to hear about your bad snow year. That is very frustrating. At
least you're not alone.

As a strange contrast, we have TONS of snow and it's been quite cold
around NM since Thanksgiving. But, last year was our worst year
ever...never before seen dryness and warmth. Now it's an El Nino
pattern and we're getting big Pacific lows across the state, which
means heavy, wet snow.

Two years ago, we had another banner year with tons of Pacific NW-like
snow, very heavy and wet. The snow level was way high, at 7,800 feet,
but above that, it was just incredible amounts of snow (30 to 40 feet
in some places) that didn't completely melt all summer. Then, as I
mentioned, the next year there was hardly a thing.

The variability is what is weird. The swings from drought to wet are
so dramatic. Nothing seems "normal" anymore.

I'm pretty much deciding not to make Birkie plans now.



Bjorn A. Payne Diaz wrote:
> If I see motorcycles on the roads, that's a good sign that the xc
> skiing is bad. We've been seeing a lot of motorcycles out during that
> past few weeks.
>



29 Dec 2006 15:58:19
Jenny
Re: MN's Sucky Season

I have. And I liked it, and agree with its message. Just bringing up a low
snow year doesn't necessarily mean the end. You could have a record breaker
next year.

I know how frustrtating it is ~ I've been through it!




<runcyclexcski@yahoo.com > wrote in message
news:1167432929.605561.129600@a3g2000cwd.googlegroups.com...
>> It might just be an anomaly.
>
> Rent "An Inconvenient Truth" for a second opinion on this.
>




29 Dec 2006 17:10:51
runcyclexcski@yahoo.com
Re: MN's Sucky Season

> I have. And I liked it, and agree with its message.

... and it addresses the "anomaly" argument against global warming
pretty well.

>Just bringing up a low
> snow year doesn't necessarily mean the end. You could have a record breaker
> next year.

Yes, another record breaker in terms of low snow.

Well, It's not THE end, changes take place gradually.



29 Dec 2006 17:38:10
Jenny
Re: MN's Sucky Season

ok, but I wasn't wanting to get into a endless discussion on global warming
(I agree with you), just saying it might be better next year! Hopefully
record breaking high of snow!

Cheers!



<runcyclexcski@yahoo.com > wrote in message
news:1167441051.022120.243150@48g2000cwx.googlegroups.com...
>> I have. And I liked it, and agree with its message.
>
> ... and it addresses the "anomaly" argument against global warming
> pretty well.
>
>>Just bringing up a low
>> snow year doesn't necessarily mean the end. You could have a record
>> breaker
>> next year.
>
> Yes, another record breaker in terms of low snow.
>
> Well, It's not THE end, changes take place gradually.
>




30 Dec 2006 04:48:42
Re: MN's Sucky Season


Bjorn A. Payne Diaz wrote:


> the system. People at work think the warm weather "is nice" so there's

I live in Norway and it always amazes me when people complain about the
"bad" weather, and driving on slippery roads, etc. Why don't they move?
I love winter, and that is partly why I live here. Similarly I can't
imagine why anyone would live in Minnesota if they didn't like winter.

Last year we had a miserable early winter with no snow until January,
but then it came big time, and I was able to ski all the way into may.
Maybe your winter will be similar this year. Hope for the best.

Joseph



30 Dec 2006 08:46:49
Re: MN's Sucky Season

Well, there are jobs, families, the upheaval and difficulties of
starting in another place, personality needs and in addition with a
move abroad, immigration laws, learning a new language, culture, etc.
Just a few minor considerations.


joseph.santaniello@gmail.com wrote:

>
>Bjorn A. Payne Diaz wrote:
>
>
>> the system. People at work think the warm weather "is nice" so there's
>
>I live in Norway and it always amazes me when people complain about the
>"bad" weather, and driving on slippery roads, etc. Why don't they move?
>I love winter, and that is partly why I live here. Similarly I can't
>imagine why anyone would live in Minnesota if they didn't like winter.
>
>Last year we had a miserable early winter with no snow until January,
>but then it came big time, and I was able to ski all the way into may.
>Maybe your winter will be similar this year. Hope for the best.
>
>Joseph
>


30 Dec 2006 07:54:51
Re: MN's Sucky Season


romat@invalid.net wrote:
> Well, there are jobs, families, the upheaval and difficulties of
> starting in another place, personality needs and in addition with a
> move abroad, immigration laws, learning a new language, culture, etc.
> Just a few minor considerations.

I've lived in 4 different countries and 3 different states in the US.
So I know first hand of the difficulties you listed, but it's really
not that hard. Places like Norway and Minnesota have serious winters
that take up a long part of the year. I just couldn't imagine staying
someplace where I hated it half the year.

Joseph


>
> joseph.santaniello@gmail.com wrote:
>
> >
> >Bjorn A. Payne Diaz wrote:
> >
> >
> >> the system. People at work think the warm weather "is nice" so there's
> >
> >I live in Norway and it always amazes me when people complain about the
> >"bad" weather, and driving on slippery roads, etc. Why don't they move?
> >I love winter, and that is partly why I live here. Similarly I can't
> >imagine why anyone would live in Minnesota if they didn't like winter.
> >
> >Last year we had a miserable early winter with no snow until January,
> >but then it came big time, and I was able to ski all the way into may.
> >Maybe your winter will be similar this year. Hope for the best.
> >
> >Joseph
> >



30 Dec 2006 13:07:00
Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
Re: MN's Sucky Season

If this year was the only the third bad year in a row, I'd have hope
for next year. I think our bad winters started in 1998. I'm shooting
from the hip, but

1998 Birkie was shortened to half a race and we all wondered if the
race would take place. It's quite unusual for the American Birkie to
have problems with snow.

2000 Very lucky that the national masters took place as scheduled. We
got some last minute snow. Birkie was cancelled. (First time in
history.) The national masters ski venue has had very limited use since
2000.

2001 - 2005 Sucked. Bad snow each year. In 2001, we all said it could
never be as bad as last year. 2004 national masters were held at an
alpine area. Snows seemed to come through and make the Birkie happen.
We seem to set a trend of starting the ski season in Jan, and we get
big snows in March that melt in two days. It's rare we can see anywhere
except the artificial snow areas.

2006 Skied in slop today. If hasn't been below freezing in a while.
It's predicted to get below freezing on Tues I believe. Got some
sympathy from a pack of road cyclists today.

Jay



30 Dec 2006 16:09:40
genegold@highstream.net
Re: MN's Sucky Season

And for this I moved to the Twin Cities in 2001, so I wouldn't have to
drive 4-5 hrs to ski in the Sierra!

I wonder which was slower today in the rain, Elm Creek slop or Marwe
blue on the Big Rivers Trail.

Gene


Bjorn A. Payne Diaz wrote:

> 2001 - 2005 Sucked. Bad snow each year. In 2001, we all said it could
> never be as bad as last year. 2004 national masters were held at an
> alpine area. Snows seemed to come through and make the Birkie happen.
> We seem to set a trend of starting the ski season in Jan, and we get
> big snows in March that melt in two days. It's rare we can see anywhere
> except the artificial snow areas.
>
> 2006 Skied in slop today. If hasn't been below freezing in a while.
> It's predicted to get below freezing on Tues I believe. Got some
> sympathy from a pack of road cyclists today.
>
> Jay



01 Jan 2007 15:15:57
Trailpatrol
Re: MN's Sucky Season

Well, we got some snow, depending where you live. Duluth, where I was
for the New Year's weekend, had it's first brown Christmas ever (at
least since records were kept) They just got a dusting on Sunday night.
Jay Cooke State Park (Carlton, just SW of Duluth) and northern Anoka
County (1 hour north of Mpls.-- where I live) got about 2-3 inches.
Sand Dunes State Forest Rec. Area, where I work, got 4-6 inches and one
of our ski patrollers put in user-set tracks. Hayward, WI got ONE inch.
And it is supposed to warm up again this week, before snowsing again on
the weekend.

I read an column in "Cross Country Skier" magazine last night which
caused me to think some about this whole concept of "global
warming". The editor who wrote the piece, a friend of mine, says that
the evidence in favor of global warming is almost un-arguable, and
compelling. I, on the other hand, subscribe to the concept of
"Climatic Cycles" and we happen to be gong through a warm cycle
now. I don't believe I am sticking my head in the sand on this, and
anybody who knows me knows that I am in no way any sort of advocate for
"motorized recreation." In 52 years I have seen winters with more
snow than we knew what to do with and winters like this one where we
don't have enough snow to do anything with. I also remember that when
I was in college, majoring in conservation, the theory of "global
cooling" was being seriously bantered about, including dire
predictions of a new Ice Age by the year 2065.

While I do agree that modern Americans and their love for petroleum
playthings may have accelerated the rate of cycles, we are far from the
worst contributors to pollution or so-called "greenhouse gases" in
this world. My belief in climatic cycles was actually strengthened by
another friend of mine, a fairly well known polar explorer, who said,
during a talk on a trip he took last year, that Elsmere Island in
northern Canada, used to be a rain forest. That there are tree trunks
under the Arctic Ocean that are evidence of it. Well, if we are not in
cycles of heating and cooling, how was the farthest north point of
Canada ever a rain forest? I also saw the two of the coldest Mays and
Octobers on record last year, in the middle of some of the warmest of
other months. Why is that?

So I am going to be pondering these things for quite a while. I do know
that 18 years ago today, the high temperature never got above zero. For
over a week. And it SNOWED!!!

Happy New Year!
Trailpatrol



01 Jan 2007 20:49:07
John Forrest Tomlinson
Re: MN's Sucky Season

On 30 Dec 2006 04:48:42 -0800, joseph.santaniello@gmail.com wrote:

>I live in Norway and it always amazes me when people complain about the
>"bad" weather, and driving on slippery roads, etc. Why don't they move?

They may lack the means to move, or have strong job or family
connections that make it difficult to move.

--
JT
****************************
Remove "remove" to reply
Visit http://www.jt10000.com
****************************


01 Jan 2007 22:18:10
Camilo
Re: MN's Sucky Season


joseph.santaniello@gmail.com wrote:

> I've lived in 4 different countries and 3 different states in the US.
> So I know first hand of the difficulties you listed, but it's really
> not that hard. ...

Well just because you have been able to do it doesn't mean it's easy or
even practical for many if not most people. Many people have families
that don't want to move. Many people have jobs that limit their
geographic options and just changing to another profession is not a
practical option. Many people like EVERYTHING else about a location
other than the climate and/or recreational factors (or the traffic, or
the culture, or the ....) Therefore, on balance they really like living
there, but go ahead and complain about the weather (or traffic, or
culture...). Hell, I can't imagine anywhere (and I've lived and
visited a lot of the US and the world) where one could be very happy,
but have a few things to bitch about. Bitching about the weather is
about the most common thing world wide and has nothing to do with
overall happiness or satisfaction.



03 Jan 2007 12:08:52
Bob L
Re: MN's Sucky Season


Trailpatrol wrote:

> I read an column in "Cross Country Skier" magazine last night which
> caused me to think some about this whole concept of "global
> warming". The editor who wrote the piece, a friend of mine, says that
> the evidence in favor of global warming is almost un-arguable, and
> compelling. I, on the other hand, subscribe to the concept of
> "Climatic Cycles" and we happen to be gong through a warm cycle
> now. I don't believe I am sticking my head in the sand on this,
>
You have to define the time line you are interested in. Climate
cycles
happen on a time scale of, say, 20,000 years or more. On that
scale,
the effect of human induced global warming is an open question.
Time scales of the past 70 years and the next 50 to 100 years
are the most important for human induced global warming (no quote marks
necessary).
That Dinosuars once roamed Antacrtica doesn't really relate in any way,
except
that the geologic record shows a strong correllation between CO2 and
global
temperatures.

-Bob L



04 Jan 2007 06:30:12
Bjorn A. Payne Diaz
Re: MN's Sucky Season

If you want to make conclusions on mechanisms, you have to look at both
the states and the rates.

You may say the earth has been warm in the past (the state), but you
also have to look at how fast it changed (the rate) before stating the
same thing happend in the past, and implying it's a natural cycle.

3-4 years ago we were saying that if we got another like the last one,
that would end xc skiing in the MN. It's kind of amazing how people
continue to ski and purchase equipment (and make the drive to Elm
Crk/Hamster Hollow).

Jay