Archive for February, 2010

What a day for a car wash!

February 26, 2010

Inside the car looking out my windshield at the car wash getting rid of the dirt and grime!

Today seemed like a great day to get the car washed and knock off the dirt and grime from our melting ice and snow. I wasn’t the only one with the same idea as I had to wait in line for about four others who were just as dirty.

Now the trick is avoiding all the big water puddles around town and watching for other cars who try to spray you with water as you go close to them. Fun game this time of the year I guess.

We do have an upper level weather system moving our way that could mess up the wash job some this weekend although it really appears like the moisture will end up well south of Great Falls. This system is still developing but temperatures remain mild this weekend.

I hope you have an enjoyable weekend. I don’t normally post blogs during the weekend but I will Monday early afternoon. Enjoy the rest of your day.

Fred

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Welcome to the banana belt basketball fans!

February 25, 2010

Four Seasons - Home to C Boys & Girls Basketball

Welcome to Great Falls all the visitors attending the northern Boys and Girls “C” tournament at the Four Seasons  and the central Boys and Girls “A” tournament at CMR High!

For some it must feel like arriving in the banana belt. Temperatures well into the 40’s with lots of sunshine. This picture I shot about 1 pm at the fairgrounds. Lots of fans, buses and running water! At least the warmer weather makes for good traveling weather for those coming to Great Falls. I hope you enjoy your stay!

We may see a few more clouds on Saturday but an upper level system doesn’t seem to have much of a punch. So we will continue to enjoy the 40’s during the daylight hours and enjoy watching the snow turn into water.

I am half tempted to wash the car. If this keeps up it’s a “no brainer.”

Enjoy your day!

Fred

Great to see bare ground, but early to put away snow fences!

February 24, 2010

Still ready for any more snowfall!

It is great to see the bare ground in places, but noticed the city crews have not taken down the snow fences yet. It’s a little early for that, as we can get heavy wet snow in March and April!

The last week of February is going out very mild and that trend looks like it will slide right into the beginning of March on Monday.

We still have a lot of packed snow and ice to melt but highs in the 40’s most days for the foreseeable future should take care of a lot of that. It’s been a while since we have seen icy side streets for such a long period of time. It makes it tough to wash the car or truck.

You get a “rock ‘n roll” ride on some of the icy side streets and if you don’t wear the right kind of shoes you can still find yourself on your backside in a hurry.

Sun returns tomorrow, that should help as well.

Fred

Drip, Drip, Drip! See that water run.

February 23, 2010

Look at that ice drip from the warming winds!

Finally, just what we have been waiting for, the warming southwest Chinook winds to push the temperatures into the 40’s. That is causing ice to melt. See the drops falling off the ice?

While the grass is still covered with snow in many areas of central Montana the slow melting should keep the water from running off too much.

We are expecting the same trend all week and into the weekend. Wednesday will bring more clouds to the area but the gusty warm winds will still continue. I hope that you are able to get rid of the ice in bad places!

Fred

Nice weekend of rest, now the weather warms up!

February 22, 2010

It was nice weekend to rest, catch up on some sleep and do a few chores! The 4″ or more of snow Saturday morning was a bit of a surprise, at least in the amount of snow that fell. Despite no winch, managed to plow the neighbors sidewalks anyway and then work on the winch!

Meadowlark Country Club course covered in snow!

Today’s sunshine is welcome and nice to see water dripping off the roofs and running down the streets. Not a good day for golfers. Plenty of snow this afternoon and no place for white golf balls to be as witnessed from the afternoon picture!

It sure seems like forever that we have had snow and ice on the ground in Great Falls. Normally the warm Chinook winds clear the lawns a couple times during the winter, but not this season!

Those wanting to see the ground again are in luck. The week ahead looks mostly sunny with high temperatures in the upper 30’s to lower 40’s. With the longer daylight hours that will help with the melting too.

I would like to see what is under all that snow!

Fred

SPRING FLOOD OUTLOOK FOR MT EAST OF THE DIVIDE RELEASED.

February 19, 2010
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GREAT FALLS MT
1209 PM MST FRI FEB 19 2010

...SPRING FLOOD OUTLOOK FOR MONTANA EAST OF THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE...

...BELOW AVERAGE POTENTIAL FOR FLOODING FROM SPRING RUNOFF FOR
MONTANA EAST OF THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE...

INTRODUCTION...
BASED ON THE CURRENT SNOWPACK IN THE MOUNTAINS AND SNOW COVER ON THE
PLAINS OF MONTANA...LITTLE OR NO FLOODING IS EXPECTED. 

ABOVE NORMAL SPRING SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...HEAVY RAINS...RAPID MELT
AND/OR ICE JAMS WILL INCREASE THE CURRENT FLOOD POTENTIAL. BELOW
NORMAL SPRING PRECIPITATION AND GRADUAL OR INTERMITTENT FREEZING AND
THAWING WILL DECERASE THE FLOOD POTENTIAL. 

CURRENT SOIL MOISTURE CONDITIONS...
ACCORDING TO THE PALMER DROUGHT SEVERITY INDEX...SOIL MOISTURE
THROUGHOUT MUCH OF MONTANA IS ABOVE OR NEAR NORMAL. THE EXCEPTION
WOULD BE PARTS OF SOUTHERN MONTANA THAT HAVE NEAR NORMAL TO SLIGHTLY
BELOW NORMAL SOIL MOISTURE. MEASUREMENTS INDICATE THE GROUND IS
FROZEN TO DEPTHS RANGING FROM AROUND ONE HALF FOOT IN PORTIONS OF
CENTRAL MONTANA TO 4 FEET IN NORTHEAST MONTANA.

CURRENT RIVER CONDITIONS...
MANY RIVERS IN MONTANA REMAIN ICED OVER. GIVEN THE SHORT-TERM
TEMPERATURE FORECASTS FOR THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS...IT IS NOT LIKELY
SIGNIFICANT THAWING OF RIVER ICE WILL OCCUR IN THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE.

CURRENT SNOW CONDITIONS...
THERE IS VERY LITTLE SNOW ON THE PLAINS WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE FAR
EASTERN TIER OF COUNTIES. MOST OF CENTRAL MONTANA HAS LESS THAN AN
INCH OF WATER EQUIVALENT WITH SNOW DEPTHS RANGING FROM 3 TO 7
INCHES. EASTERN MONTANA HAS 10 TO 15 INCHES OF SNOW ON THE GROUND
AND TWO INCHES OF SNOW WATER EQUIVALENT.

BASIN SNOWPACK IN THE MOUNTAINOUS AREAS OF MONTANA GENERALLY RANGES
FROM ABOUT 70 PERCENT TO 85 PERCENT OF AVERAGE. LOWEST OVERALL
SNOWPACK IS IN THE SUN/TETON/MARIAS RIVER BASIN COMPLEX WHICH IS 58
PERCENT OF AVERAGE BASIN-WIDE. HIGHEST OVERALL SNOWPACK IS IN THE
SMITH/JUDITH/MUSSELSHELL RIVER BASIN COMPLEX WHICH IS 100 PERCENT OF
AVERAGE BASIN-WIDE.

BY LATE FEBRUARY...MONTANA IS APPROXIMATELY THREE-QUARTERS OF THE WAY
THROUGH THE MAIN SNOWFALL PERIOD. THERE ARE STILL FOUR TO SIX WEEKS
REMAINING UNTIL THE SEASONAL SNOWPACK PEAK IS REACHED.

LOOKING AHEAD...LITTLE CHANGE IN THE GENERAL WEATHER PATTERN IS EXPECTED WITH NO
SIGNIFICANT WARM UP INDICATED AND NO SIGNIFICANT PRECIPITATION
EVENTS FORECASTED FOR MONTANA EAST OF THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE THROUGH
THE 8 TO 14 DAY FORECAST PERIOD. THE OUTLOOK FOR MARCH SHOWS EQUAL
CHANCES FOR ABOVE...BELOW OR NEAR NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND
PRECIPITATION. THE OUTLOOK FOR THE MARCH THROUGH MAY PERIOD SHOWS
SLIGHTLY BETTER CHANCES FOR ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES WITH EQUAL
CHANCES FOR ABOVE...BELOW OR NEAR NORMAL PRECIPITATION.

THE NEXT SPRING FLOOD POTENTIAL OUTLOOK FOR MONTANA WILL BE ISSUED MARCH 5 2010.

The weather is just ducky for the Gibson Park birds!

February 19, 2010

Geese at Gibson Pond, but no skaters!

With a few flurries the first part of Friday afternoon I thought I might find a few ice skaters on Gibson Pond. No takers but the geese and ducks were enjoying the afternoon. Most  were crowded around a few people who were feeding them bread.

Those geese that were tired were laying right in the middle of the walking path around Gibson. Why not? I guess I didn’t see any walkers using the path. Lunch time was over and everyone had gone to work or were handling other chores before the weekend.

We will  have some clouds to contend with today and Saturday, but by Sunday it looks like the sun breaks out and the temperatures begin to climb back into the 30’s and some days close to 40!

Hopefully we can get rid of some ice and snow. Watch your step even walking, some areas are still very icy!

Have a great weekend!

Fred

Another shot of snow but not enough to stop a visit to the Veteran’s Memorial!

February 18, 2010

Great Falls Veteran's Memorial

Another few inches of snow from last night cold front, making it very slippery for travel Wednesday evening, but temperatures above 32 today is helping as well as quick work from the street crews!

Stopped by the Veteran’s Memorial before the Noon hour, a splendid place to visit even in the winter time. It’s located at 25th street and River Drive near Centene Stadium. I really need to get my plaque up as a former veteran before all the space is gone!

We are prepared for some cool air for a few days, but the warming conditions remind us that spring is not far away!

Have a great day!

Fred

Ballfields sit covered in snow waiting for Spring!

February 17, 2010

Baseball Complex waiting for Spring and young people!

We have seen a little of everything today, including a reminder that more snow is coming our way overnight. I happened to notice how still and quiet the baseball complex is compared to spring and summer when it is filled with the voices of young people and coaches laughing and cheering. It’s almost like the fields can wait for some company too!

You guessed it, spring is my favorite season and looking forward to grass turning green, trees getting buds and cleaning up from the mess of winter.

We do have a Winter Weather Advisory until tomorrow morning. Two to five inches of snow for the plains and up to a half of foot of snow possible around the Great Falls area.

So the boys and girls of summer will need to wait a while, but time passes quickly and before you know it spring will be here. Less than 4 weeks!

I have always loved baseball, basketball and track. I found this photo from Cut Bank in the summer of 1959.

Fred up to bat in Cut Bank. June 1959

What is your favorite season of the year and why? Let me know.

Fred

Upper 30’s today…but Gibson Pond being cleared for skating!

February 16, 2010

Thick enough for skating on Gibson Pond today.

Early afternoon the equipment was out on a part of Gibson Pond clearing the snow and then using the brush to clear off the ice for skating. I saw the covers over the “no skating-ice too thin” signs. Guess if the tracker holds up on the ice people can too.

We are seeing some melting going on today, but with a couple of weather systems headed into Montana later in the week it will turn colder by Wednesday night and Thursday. That will keep the ice solid and hopefully ready for any skaters! The city Park and Rec Department confirmed that the pond is open for skaters.

I spent a lot of time on Gibson in high school and my younger years. Picked up a few bumps and bruises along the way too. But plenty of great memories and can still smell the wet jersey gloves drying on the barrel heating stove.

Do you have similar memories of skating at Gibson Pond?

Fred