We are the 99%

I think last time I checked in I said there was a 97% chance of the Birkie happening.

It’s up to 99%. It probably won’t reach 100 for a while, but it’s really that good.

First, it has snowed. It’s snowed pretty much every day this month in Hayward, with about a foot of snow piling up. And more is on the way. Depending on how a storm swings, there could he half again that much on the ground by midweek. And this is on top of a hard base on cold ground.

That’s all well and good, but the snow needs to stick around. The verdict? It is very likely to do so. No model has shown temperatures pushing 30 by race day. It’s just cold, cold and cold, with the possibility of some snow. In the next 10 days (and indeed through race day) the American model tops the temperature out at 25; the European model doesn’t go above 23. It’s hard to melt snow when it’s nowhere near freezing.

The groomers should have plenty of time to pack down the snow and get it ready for race day, and hopefully they’ll get some refreshments between now and then. Could things change? Sure, they could. But for now, things look about as good as it gets.

16 days to go, and looking great

I know it’s 16, because that’s the length of the GFS model. 384 hours. Rest up.

9 of new snow in Birkieland and the GFS has a high temperature in Hayward of 25˚. Even if it doesn’t snow another flake (and, uh, it’s forecast to snow several more flakes) the Birkie should be in terrific shape.

Lots can change, of course. But there’s no signal of doom, so for now, all systems are go. I’d say there’s a 97% chance of a Main Street finish.

Podcast corrupt? Yeah, I fat-fingered something

Did you try to listen to ye olde Podcast and get errors? Me too.

Because I had a lowercase p instead of capital P in my feed.

It should work now. Maybe if you’ve subscribed and got errors you’ll get two episodes at once. As Mitch Hedberg says, “I like to hold the microphone cord like this, I pinch it together, then I let it go, then you hear a whole bunch of jokes at once.” (RIP Mitch.)

So, yeah, I am now producing the podcast on my own, and maybe you’ve noticed a slight decrease in production value, or maybe not. But the xml feed is the issue. It’s fixed. Hopefully it won’t happen again. (it probably will, though.)

Four weeks out preliminary weather speculation

Four weeks to the Birkie!

I, for one, am going on a long ski this weekend. A long march, you could say. Yes, I’m in Italy, skiing the Marcialonga (expect a podcast shortly). But it’s just a long training race (for me): the main event is in four weeks in Wisconsin.

So what does the weather foretell? First, there’s snow, but not that much. Probably enough now, but not enough to survive much of a meltdown. The next week holds some promise, with the potential for a few inches of snow on Monday and no chance of a meltdown thereafter. If nothing else, it will put down some thick ice on Lake Hayward.

After that … the long range trends look good. The US models out for the next four weeks show Hayward in colder-than-normal temperatures throughout the forecast period. Obviously there’s not a lot of “skill” in this forecast, so things can change; and near the end there’s warm air lurking up north, but for the next couple of weeks things look okay. As for some moisture, it doesn’t look wet, but not bone-dry; a few inches of snow in the cold will help.

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But, monthly forecasts can be wrong. At this juncture in 2017, things looked okay, but then went way, way downhill in the week after. So there’s a lot of time to come until we’re lining up next to an airport in Cable, Wisconsin. A lot can happen. But things aren’t dire, yet.


Friday Update

It’s on, guys. It’s definitely on.

Change of a full Birkie: 100%. 1000%. No snow issues this year.

It snowed about half a foot last night in Hayward, so grab your soft skis and fluoros. It’s a winter wonderland out there on the Birkie Trail, with snow coating the trees from Cable to Hayward. A far cry from last year. The groomers haven’t slept, the parking lots are clear (but leave some extra time, especially if you’re coming up Highway 63) and the race is going to be great.

We (I) recorded a quick podcast this afternoon with some updates, it should be in the Podcast feed, or you can grab it here and put it in your Birkie playlist for the drive up.

Quick weather update

Not many changes:

Thursday night: 20, 2-5″ of snow. The Korteloppet will be soft!

Friday for the Korte: snow tapering in the morning, potentially becoming freezing drizzle (fast, glazing, and just nasty waxing conditions for kick), highs around 30. Mostly cloudy, light winds.

Friday night: lows near 10, so the snow may have a chance to set up. The Birkie will still probably be pretty soft. Get those fluoros out.

Birkie: teens rising in to the 20s. Winds light becoming east/southeast (tailwind on the Lake!). Snow beginning some time in the afternoon becoming heavy in the evening.

Sunday: Great day for a post-race ski.