It’s going to be warm.
Like, not warm enough to melt the snow, so we should have a race. But a heck of a lot warmer than any Birkie in recent memory.
Monday through Wednesday this week will be seasonable: highs in the 20s, lows around 10, with maybe an inch of snow here and there. Then it gets interesting.
Thursday should be cold to start, but warmer as the day goes on. Luckily snow goes down on Wednesday night on Main Street (I think) so it should set up well when temperatures are still around zero. Thursday will go up to around freezing, and then not go down. Friday will be the warmest day. It will likely be cloudy and in the 30s, with some light rain or drizzle (yes, rain). Nothing that will wash the snow away, but certainly something that will put some moisture in to it. The snowpack will be quite cold and retain a lot of latent cold in it, as will the ground, so it is unlikely to get soft if the temperatures stay below 40.
Then things get really interesting Friday night. Current guidance shows the low temperatures dropping to right around 30 as a weak cold front comes through. If temperatures stay above freezing, the course may begin to soften given the time above freezing. If they drop, say, to 28, the course may freeze from above and below and could be lightning fast and solid, a good day for stiff skis with good edges. Glide wax will matter, and it will matter a lot more if it’s 33˚ at race time versus 28˚. And the course may change during the race, with firmer conditions at the start that soften as we go south and as the sun comes out, which may or may not happen. Oh, and it’s possible there will be some light wet snow overnight. So as for kick wax: good luck, classic skiers. It may be a day that waxless skis take the day.
This is not one of those years where we know the weather ahead of time, because while 5 degrees makes very little difference between 5˚ and 10˚, but a whole heck of a lot of difference between 29˚ and 34˚.
This Birkie is going to be interesting. Fun, and interesting.
The good news is that Saturday afternoon may be 35˚ and sunny, so get ready for a party on the lake. I’ll get the New Glarus.