We’re getting in to range now. 10 days out we start go get good reads from three models, 8 runs per day (2 each for the Canadian and European, four for the US), at least publicly (The US and Canadian models have free output, I generally view their output via TropicalTidbits; the Euro is harder, but you can get its output pretty well via the Norwegian weather service here.
The good news: the GFS model’s current run (with similar, if not as good, prognostication from recent runs). The US model only has a few hours barely above freezing, and then brings more good news in the form of fresh snow the week before the race and temperatures around 0 at the start of the Birkie rising in to the 20s during the race (similar for the Korteloppet). This is basically the perfect situation for the Birkie, a cold, snowy, firm-but-not-icy midwinter race.
The European is similar, although not quite as bullish, and doesn’t get us data right up to the Birkie itself, but doesn’t have really much meltdown. A little less snow. A little warmer leading in to the Korteloppet. But both these models lead us in to a pretty damn good race weekend weather situation.
Then there’s the Canadian model. This is basically the worst case scenario. It keeps it plenty cold (with a few inches of snow) for the next week-plus, but then diverges from the GFS. On Thursday, it pushes a low pressure center through Fargo, with temperatures pushing 50˚ and some rain. The course might survive; it’s not what happened last year. And a cold front would sweep through on Friday. But it would be very not good, so we don’t want to ride the Canadian.
12 days to go. Stay tuned …