It’s 240 hours until the Birkie, meaning we have deterministic runs of the three major global weather models (the GFS, the ECMWF and the Canadian, which you can view at TropicalTidbits, PivotalWx, College of DuPage or elsewhere). So what’s in store for the next 10 days and race day? Let’s take a quick baseline survey:
The GFS has been bullish with a snowstorm for next Thursday. The last several model runs have printed out 10+ inches of snow in Hayward between now and race day, most of it on that Thursday, which would be a good time for it to occur, frankly, between the Open Track and the races, and clearing out with enough time to plow it out of the way where needed (including, probably, on the hardpack race trail, leaving some to be renovated into the existing snow).
This is hardly a given, though: the European model (ECMWF) has a lighter storm on Thursday, with maybe 4 to 6 inches of snowfall. And the Canadian has just a light snowfall grazing Birkieland on Tuesday, otherwise, it’s NO SNOW FOR YOU. That seems like a pretty reasonable forecast right now, between 1 and 11 inches of snow in the next 10 days.
Then on to race days. For the Friday races, there is pretty good agreement that temperatures may only be around 10˚ for afternoon highs. Saturday looks warmer, in the teens or maybe even 20s, after a cold start. The models suggest that the coldest air will be sitting a few hundred miles west, with some showing -30˚ temperatures over the Dakotas, and the February sun may be shrouded behind some mid and upper level clouds, but it does not appear to be too windy. So not the 30˚ and sunny finishes of 2020 and 2022, but not too brutally cold, either.
All this can and will change, and we’ll keep track here daily (or so).
We will also have a weather podcast next week, so look for that to come out on Monday or Tuesday. We just posted a podcast with Earth Rider Brewery (the official beer of the Birkie!) and have recorded an episode with Birkie staff which should post later this week. Then we may have a Friday podcast from the Media Center, and, of course, look for me out on Main Street, the Lake, or the Moccasin (somewhat weather dependent) on Saturday!