“I don’t know whether the weather will improve.”
10 points if you get that Simpsons reference.
Anyway, the weather a week out looks, well, interesting. After two months the polar vortex (I’m not going to get in to explaining how it’s actually a thing that the news media latched on to because it sounded cool and bastardized) is retreating back to its home near, well, near the pole, allowing a more westerly flow from the Pacific to feed slightly warmer air in to the region. So instead of highs around 5, the highs will peak in to the 30s next week.
And what does this mean for the Birkie? Well, several things:
- First, this is not a catastrophic melt. It would have to be 60 to really scare me. The race will go on!
- There should be a couple of rounds of snow this week and weekend, so the base will get something new on top.
- If it just gets to 35 a couple of days without much sunshine, the snow may not transform. Or if it does, only the very top layer will get wet and refreeze. With good grooming (there’s always good grooming) this would mean that it would be soft conditions but with some ice mixed in, so faster.
- However, if it gets to 40, or it rains, the liquid may penetrate deeper. If this happens, expect it to refreeze more solidly, resulting in a firmer course.
- Recent models have trended a bit cooler for race day, so I’d expect it not to be sloppy. Whether it’s powder or refreeze, well, time will tell.