Saturday, March 26, 2016

Ugh to cooler than average springtime temps

UGH...UGH...I SAY... Just when we want warmth, we get the following (from
April usually brings thoughts or at least hopes of warmer temperatures, but as the calendar turns the page this year that desired warmth may be hard to find for some thanks to a big pattern change.
March has been a very warm month for most of the U.S. Numerous locations from the Rockies to the East Coast, with the exception of much of the South, are in position to see a top five warmest March.
  Heading into early April, however, a surge of colder temperatures is expected to push southward into the Midwest and portions of the East. Exactly how far south and how cold temperatures will be are a bit uncertain at this time, but an overall chilly forecast is anticipated.
These colder conditions are due to a southward plunge of the jet stream, in response to a blocking ridge of high pressure over the Pacific Northwest, that will allow chillier temperatures to spread from Canada into the Midwest and East.
One of factors that will be playing a role in this April chill is the split the stratospheric vortex underwent in mid-March. This is expected to result in negative Arctic Oscillation conditions in early April, which typically translates to below-average temperatures in the Eastern U.S., with warmer than average conditions in the West.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Ducks on the pond

I saw four ducks swimming in the pond, on Wednesday morning, and just saw one flying toward the north side of the pond. I cannot catch enough of a clear view to identify them, although they are probably either mergansers, buffleheads,  or ring-necked ducks, as those are usually the first species to populate the pond after ice out. My fractured toes are not ready for long walks yet, but I am hoping to hobble over to the edge of the pond, sometime this weekend, for a closer look at the ducks.

Icy Weather - SNOW DAY # 2

Snow Day # 2 is upon us as this icy mess moves through our area. The timing couldn't be more perfect for a day off, as I have been feeling "under the weather" lately and need some rest.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Snow Total Thus Far

Snow Total Thus Far: We have received 45.5" of snow thus far, this season. Our next little snow band will roll through on Thursday morning, but is supposed to drop less than an inch of snow.

1st Full Day of Spring - Bring on the Snow! NO!

The sky is supposed to drop between 3" - 5" of snow from this storm. Me? I'm ready for warmer, spring-like weather.
We ended up getting 6" of snow from the storm. And, this was the slickest ride to work in several years. It was quite dangerous, to say the least. There were lots of accidents, lots of people sliding off the road, and Lewiston did not even get plows out until after 7:30 am. 
But, the afternoon ended up sunshiny and 38F, with lots of quick melting.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Welcome to Springtime

Looking over the front yard to the pond.
Happy Springtime to one and all! It is currently 30F under a super sunny sky.
I saw a couple of guys fishing from a canoe today.
They were the first boaters of the season.
I'm bummed as that is usually what I do, but my toes are not healed yet.
The snow is gone, for the moment, as we are getting several inches of snow overnight. So, we'll enjoy the sunshine while it lasts. The pond is ice-free as you can see.
 Primary stump garden with daffodil and crocus shoots. No blooms yet.
My stump gardens are beginning to show signs of life after the short winter.
I saw some crocus flowers forming, and ruined by voles down in the soil.
Here are some crocus shoots. I think voles are tunneling all over the place, and are demolishing quite a few of the crocuses.
Daffodil and tulip shoots in the side garden.
And, we have plenty of daffodils planted in all the gardens, so it will be very pretty, very soon (after the next snowfall and snow melt have occurred;-)

Saturday, March 19, 2016

No Peepers yet

My colleague, Paula, who lives about 3 miles away, came to my classroom on Wednesday to tell me that she had heard spring peepers behind her home ( they must have been very optimistic peepers!). I have checked the pond and not a peep yet! Of course, we are always a bit colder here as it takes longer for the pond to defrost, so to speak;-) But, we should be hearing them as soon as this next cold snap leaves our neck of the woods, sometime in the first week of April.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Ice Out has occurred - March 13th

This is the earliest ice out date, on our records, over the last 16 years. Wahoooo!!! Let the boating season begin;-) 

Here are the past dates (along with snow totals and El Nino years.) Generally, El Nino years are warmer and drier for us in the Northeast USA. Check out NOAA for a great little video explanation of El Nino and La Nina.
(Click on the graph for a larger view)
Of course, the amount of snow and warmth may change due to the strength of the El Nino and the Arctic Oscillation (which is also a huge factor for our location):

Ice Out Date        Snow Totals and El Nino Year Correlations
March 13, 2016 - (50.5" snow) Strongest El Nino Year since 1998
April 18, 2015 - (103" snow) Weak La Nina
April 15, 2014 - (72" snow) Weak La Nina
April 6, 2013 - (83" snow) Weak La Nina
March 20, 2012 - (61" snow) Weak La Nina
April 17, 2011 - (99" snow) Moderate La Nina
March 18, 2010 - (57" snow) El Nino Year (fast phase transition from El Nino to strong La Nina)
April 9, 2009 - (87" snow) Weak La Nina
April 19, 2008 - (127" snow) Moderate La Nina
April 20, 2007 - (74" snow)  Very week El Nino Year (started late/ended early)
March 26, 2006 - (30" snow) Transition to weak La Nina
April 11, 2005 - (100+" snow) Very weak El Nino (ending early)
April 8, 2004 - (30" snow) Neither El Nino nor La Nina
April 16, 2003 - (no data) El Nino Year (Moderate - Central Pacific El Nino with lower effects)
March 31, 2002 - (42" snow) Transitioning from very weak La Nina to neutral
April 22, 2001 - (100+" snow) Very weak La Nina
April 8, 2000 - (no data as we moved to Maine in late February)

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Snow Total thus far

Snow Total for the winter (thus far;-) = 39.5"

Ha! By this day last year we'd had 98.75" of snow!

The first crocus of springtime! AND TICKS!

Yahoo! Our yard has a teeny weeny bit of color to it! One tiny crocus has decided to bloom. The rest of them should follow suit over the next week.

One more thing...the ticks are ravenous, so be cautious when mucking around in the shrubbery! I barely brushed against some grasses, here and there, and had at least one tick crawling up my pants' leg. I say, "at least" because I hope that was the only one! Aughhh...Drew helped me do a tick check, which will now become a daily ritual as tick season gets into full swing.

One more day until ice out, I hope!

Geez...I hardly slept last night as it felt a bit like Christmas Eve. I absolutely couldn't wait until morning to see the state of the ice on Caesar Pond! Yesterday morning, the entire south half of the pond was still ice-covered, although it had a deep blue tint to it that let me know that it was very thin and would be melting very fast. Today, is an entirely different story as all but the south end (near the snow mobile entrance) is ice free. 

I am hoping that ice out will occur by tomorrow afternoon as the overnight temp. will only drop to 34 F, before rising to 53 F tomorrow afternoon. There will be a bit of a breeze which will help push waves against the edge of the ice to help melt it and move it. Once that happens, we can help our neighbors put their dock in the water, and vice versa.
Oh yes, the only water fowl we've seen thus far are a pair of Canada geese. Hopefully, there will be other ducks quacking to their hearts delight soon.
Here is a picture of me at the pond, 6 years ago today. As you can see, I was just getting ready to do a bit of ice-breaking with my kayak. Alas, those fun times are over...But, soon I'll be prowling the pond in my EV Colossal!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Ice out is nearly here

I am keeping an eye on the surface of Caesar Pond as ice out may just be early this year! I've kept track of this event since we moved here in 2000, and the earliest ice out date has been March 18th. I declare ice out when the entire pond is navigable, and as soon as the south cove ice breaks up. In most places, ice out is when the ice breaks up enough for boats to navigate without being stopped by ice floes. Here is the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands definition:
"What's Ice Out?This topic has often been debated. For the purposes of this web page, we will consider "ice-out" to be when you can navigate unimpeded from one end of the water body to the other. There may still be ice in coves or along the shoreline in some areas but when a person can traverse the entire water body without being stopped by ice floes, we will consider the ice to be out."
Click HERE for Ice Out dates, from 2003 - 2015, for various water bodies in Maine. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Spring Has Sprung!

Wow! Check out this week's temperatures. And, I saw sap dripping from the old maple limb just outside our kitchen window. The days and nights are warming, and soon the ice will melt on the pond and I'll be boating to my heart's content. I can't wait!