Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March Madness - The Weather Summary!

This has been the winter that will not end. The following is the daily blog summary as enter at my other blog at Wunderground. As it shows, the 2008-2009 winter season will not be referred to a a wimpy winter! Welcome to global warming!

March 31, 2009: As it was in the beginning, so it is at the ending (March, that is). Today is cloudy with light snow continuing throughout the day. The temperature is such that the snow is melting on contact here at the ranch. Not so at 3.2 miles and 1000' up the running route. There, it was snow that is accumulating. When I was there about 1:00 in the afternoon, the depth was just over ankle deep, and increasing flake by flake. The late afternoon temperatures rose into the 40's and resulted in a melting of all of the new snow (about 1.7") that had fallen at the ranch today. A monthly summary showed 21.6" for March. Adding this together with the rest of this snow season give a total of 96.5". That's 8 feet of snow for the season! Note: Snow is in the forecast for Thursday (April 2nd) ... stay tuned for revised seasonal totals.

Morning Walk in the Snow ... Again!
Another Winterwonderland look during the morning walk of the ranch trails

Horses Continue to Endure Winter Conditions
Horses in the snowy pasture

Trees in Full Snow up along the Running Route
Snow at 4000' along the running route

March 30, 2009: A mostly clear sky overnight was becoming cloud streaked at sunrise. The increasing clouds continued and snow fell during the middle of the day and the early afternoon. This was an non-accumulating snowfall (at least not staying for very long). The remainder of the afternoon and evening was mostly cloudy with just quick glances at the sun. Meanwhile, the kittens were snug as bugs on the rug (or pillow, in this case).

Morning Sunrise over the Swan Range
Sunrise over the pasture and horses

Reflections on the Pond in the Snow
Sunrise over clouds reflects on the paddock pond

Light Snowfall during the Middle of the Day
Snow during the walk to the arena

Kittens Resting on the Pillow
Torrie and Aggie resting on the pillow

March 29, 2009: There was another bit of snow overnight (about 2.5" again). With temperatures rising to almost 40, the new accumulation was soon gone. Clouds stayed around all day along with blustery winds. However, these were disappearing late in the day, making way for another overnight cool-down.

Another Snowy Trail Walk this Morning
Snow covered trail during the morning walk with the dogs

March 28, 2009: Clouds dominated the day today. Just some short periods of sun through the clouds during the late afternoon. Even though the clouds persisted, the temperatures rose enough to continue a slow snow melt and the snow line continues to work, foot by foot down the pasture toward the creek.

Snow Line Continues March Down the Pasture
Snow line moving slowly down the pasture as each day melts just a little more snow

March 27, 2009: Overcast sky for most of the day today. The overnight low temperature was in the mid teens and the temperature was able to rise into the mid 40's even without full sunlight. Late in the afternoon, there was some breakup of the overcast, but it was too late for any major heating from the late day sunshine.

Mostly Cloudy View East during Mid Afternoon
Afternoon view east when still mostly cloudy

Dogs Resting in Filtered Late Afternoon Sunlight
Dogs resting around plantings in yard

Clouds Breaking Up during the Early Evening
Clouds breaking up early in the evening view southeast

March 26, 2009: Clear night and a fine 'after the storm' cool-down. The PWS was not working to show it, but another recording weather station showed a low into the single digits (one of my systems showed 4.5 degrees this morning). The sun is shining, and the temperature is expected to rise into the 30's today. That means the snow will settle, melt, and disappear again. (Probably in time for another round of snow in a couple of days).

Just before Sunrise View across the Fences
Light before sunrise on a clear day

Shadows from the Morning Sun
Shadows during the morning walk with the dogs

A Horse with a View to Blacktail Mountain
View over the and through the trees toward Blacktail Mountain

March 25, 2009: Just when I was starting to break out the Spring clothes, we get another 2.4" of fresh snow overnight. But, that was okay, because by about noon or so, everything was melted back so that it looked like it did late yesterday. Just in time for a run! At the three mile turn-around (1000' higher than the ranch), nice billowy clouds were visible looking back down into the valley. As I started my return run, snow pellets fell. By the time I got back to the ranch, a full snow storm was in progress. By the time it stopped, 2-hours later, another 3.1" of snow had fallen! Welcome to Spring in NW Montana! At the early evening animal check and feeding (and sledding) the sun was shining and the snow was melting a bit. However, the temperature is falling, so the snow will stay overnight.

A Day at the Ranch - Spring Snow (Cool Change)

A Day at the Ranch - Spring Snow, Afternoon Session (Tuesday (actually Wednesday) Afternoon)

March 24, 2009: Mostly cloudy again early in the day. There were even some snow flurries around again from time to time. Rising daytime temperatures continue to slowly melt the snow pack. Each day, more of the up-slope grass appears and the remaining depth decreases a little.

Snowline Working Its Way Down the Workshop Slope
Snowline moves down the workshop slope

March 23, 2009: A light snow coating returned overnight, just to prove that even though it is Spring, it does not mean snow cannot reappear. With temperatures rising into the 40's the snow soon disappeared. However, an icy fog hovered around until a bit into the afternoon (snow melt can do that). During the mid afternoon the sun broke through and warmed the rest of the day nicely.

Horses in Pasture One Following Light Overnight Snow
Horses await feeding after light overnight snow

Winnie at the Morning Feeding
Wanita enjoys morning feeding

Horses Line Up in Morning Fog
Jonah, Orpheus, and Harmony in morning fog

Afternoon Sun View Northeast
Sun and clouds in view east

Clear Sky Breaking to Southeast
Clearing sky to the southeast

March 22, 2009: A mild Spring day today and the horses were moved to the upper pasture. With a low temperature of 32.7 this morning, it actually stayed above freezing for the first day all month!

Horses in the Spring Pasture
Wonderful cloud and sun mix for the second day of Spring and the horses move to a new pasture

Horses Romp in Outer Spring Pasture
Horses running in the Spring pasture

March 21, 2009: Even with Spring here, the low temperature still fell below freezing. That's okay though, it firms up the walking surface nicely for the morning walk. Light showers fell during the early morning but the sun managed to break through often enough to melt some more snow. Today, the creek was flowing freely and making small lakes out of a couple of the pastures.

Sun Peeking Over the Treeline
Spring sunrise over east pastures

Checking Out the Pasture Snow Depth
Titan and Taffy on pasture snow...still about ten inches deep in the pastures

March 20, 2009: The lingering winter finally left today. Spring is off to a good start with mild temperatures, and the resulting slush and mud is as deep as you'd like to see it. The day was a nice mix of sun and spring clouds. Evening showers followed the day but stars were visible at the final animal check for today.

Morning Sun along the Fence Line
Morning sunshine on the first day of Spring

Snow Waiting for the Spring Melt
The snow of winter waiting for a big meltdown

Afternoon Spring Clouds and Sunshine
Clouds of spring over paddocks

March 19, 2009: A non-surprising sun cloud mix for this day at the ranch. It started with a nice bit of clouds for the sun to rise over, and for a good morning walk with the dogs. Later in the day, some light rain fell. Still looking for that above freezing minimum temperature here in NW Montana. As I am looking at the barometric pressure falling steadily through the day today, it appears some moisture may be in store, too.

Morning Sun at the Ranch
Sunrise over the clouds ... fog in the valley

Doggone Fun during the Morning Walk (Slide Show)

March 18, 2009: A mostly clear sky overnight allowed the minimum temperature to drop into the middle teens. Fresh snow from yesterday allowed Titan to coat his nose during the morning walk along the fence lines and ranch trails. The morning was a mix of clouds and sun with a corresponding slow rise in the mercury (or electronic pulses that now record the thermal changes for us).

Titan with a Snow Nose
Titan with snow on his nose

March 17, 2009: There was some light snow overnight and it was followed by periods of snow squalls. The temperature range again held in the mid 20's overnight and hovered around the freezing temperatures during the mid morning.

Irish Sunrise in NW Montana
Sunrise on St. Patrick's day

Driveway Logs along Running Route
Driveway longs along Batavia Lane running route

March 16, 2009: The wind and light evening showers of yesterday evening ended overnight. Temperatures fell a bit into the middle 20's, so we still didn't get the above freezing overnight value. The day was a mix of brief periods of sunlight under mostly cloudy conditions. Yesterday's mud and slush turned into a packed ice and mud mix today. As a result, we moved the horses into a different pasture to get them off of the ice.

Three East Views Today (Slide show)

March 15, 2009: Pretty much continuous cloud cover over the ranch today. There was some passing sun during the mid section, but the clouds soon returned bringing with them, evening showers. The temperatures rose into the 40's resulting in a melting of the snow and a return to the muddy conditions of early spring. A bit of a breeze kicked up late in the day with the passing pressure system switching from low to high pressure.

Morning Sky and the Three Trees
Morning sky with glimpse of the sun

March 14, 2009: Just a glance at the sun this morning before mostly cloudy conditions took control. The barometric pressure would indicate some precipitation may be possible. With the overnight low staying in the double digits and the afternoon temperature in the low 40's, this could be a rain/snow mix, depending on the starting time of the precipitation.

The Only Glimmer of Sun for Today
Sunrise over the fence gate and across the pasture

March 13, 2009: Wow! It almost didn't get below zero today ... almost! My PWS showed just -0.5! Spring is in the air! There was a little layer of clouds to the east and maybe that kept the temperature up a bit. It was a fine morning for some coffee on the deck. As the sun shown throughout the day, the horses enjoyed going out into the far pasture and talking about the events of the day.

Cloud Layer to the East at Sunrise
Cloud layer over the tree line and mountains to the east this morning

Hot Coffee on the Deck
Coffee on the deck ... still a little winter like

Horse Talk in the Outer Pasture
Horses group together in outer pasture

March 12, 2009: Not quite as cold as the low was only around minus ten today. The clear sky that allowed the overnight cold provided a dose of sunlight for the day. Slowly moderating temperatures allowed some snow melt to take place. But, it soon got cold enough in the evening to see that melt re-freeze.

Retired Wagon Axle in the Snow
Wagon axle still covered in snow

Fence Line and Shadows
Fence along the driveway

Warm Enough to Melt Roof Snow ... Cold Enough to Freeze Under the Deck
Icicles under the deck

March 11, 2009: Well, if the horses were nonplussed yesterday, I'm glad they don't speak, or they might have had something to say today ... I don't think they were singing "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" (although, it was quite nice with a nearly full moon and fresh bright white snow ... headlight optional). (Note: okay...so, I couldn't help myself and the karma from the first video forced me to go out to the paddock to do my own version.) The first animal check today was at 5:00 AM, and the LaCrosse thermometer showed -18.6 degrees as I put on full winter gear to go out to see how they were. The day evolved quite nicely. Sunshine, and, I think the temperature actually climbed into the 20 degree range. No problem with slush and flowing water, that was for sure!

The Lowest Reading I Saw Today!
Cold this morning at the ranch

Frosty Morning Sunrise
Cold temperatures don't keep the sun away

Jonah in the Morning Sun (Even if it was Cold)
Jonah in the sun during morning filming session

Pond Not Showing Much Spring Life Today
The pond is under there, somewhere

March 10, 2009: An overnight low that touched zero, combined with a passing weather system, caused the frozen sky to drop another couple of inches of snow on the ranch. At the morning check, the horses were non-plussed and snow covered They did not break into any jocund trotting in celebration of the day. It was also quite blustery during the morning walk! The day did provide some sun though not much warming took place with the high just reaching fifteen degrees. Nevertheless, chores were done, horses fed, and the dogs hunted during the daily treks around the ranch trails.

Snow Horse at Morning Animal Check
Snow covered horse (Harmony/Jonah)

Blustery View to Ranch during Morning Trail Trek
Bluster blowing snow during morning walk

Horses Munching in the Snowy Paddock
Horses enjoy morning feeding

Deck Snow Removal in Progress
A couple of inches of snow on deck to remove again

Dogs on Alert During Afternoon Walk
Dogs watching something from the trail

March 9, 2009: The temperature tried desperately to stay above 20 degrees today and managed to poke through twice, with some filtered sunlight late in the afternoon. Since the chores were done, the dogs and I did a second trekking of the snow covered trails during that brief sunshine. A frozen snow was falling during the last animal check as the temperature had dipped back into the single digits and the intrepid winter continues. "March!" You can march right in to NW Montana anytime!

Horses Line Up for Late Afternoon Feeding
Horses line up for feeding

Dogs Romping on the Snowy Trails
Taffy and Titan run on the snow trail

Curled Tree, Stumps, and Shadows
Late day sun and tree stump shadows

March 8, 2009: Snowy weather in NW Montana with another 2" or so overnight and more during the day to give a new 5"+ to the area. At the morning feeding, noon feeding, and other times as I passed near the horses, they all hoped for another treat from the haversack. With the new snow, the dogs and I had a chance to walk the snowshoe trail for an extra lap, and enjoyed the continuing winter conditions.

Harmony Hiding Behind Hay
Harmony with hay in his forelock and mane

Snowy Panoramic Merged Image (from the deck)
Deck panorama of five images

March 7, 2009: Cloudy conditions most of the day today. Just a bit of filtered sun appeared during the mid day hours, but, thickening clouds, and blowing snow returned in time for the evening feeding. As usual, several feedings of the horses were done today to prevent gormandizing that might occur with a single daily feeding.

Morning Feeding at the Hay Flakes
Horses gather in a circle to eat the morning hay

Evening Feeding in the Snow Flakes
A return to snow in time for the evening feeding

March 6, 2009: A cold start to the day today with single digits returning again. The day was mostly sunny and as a result, the temperature rebounded nicely into the middle 20's. Although calling today a heat wave would be totally fallacious, with the sunshine, and light winds, it was quite a nice day.

Morning Sunrise after the Storm (Slide Show)

Sunny Panorama (Slide Show)

March 5, 2009: Mostly cloudy conditions for the day today. The morning walk was during a light snowfall. Reoccurring snow has entered the area from time to time throughout the rest of the day. As the clouds and snow continue, the temperature is decreasing steadily during the late afternoon. Still not the kind of weather that leads to an ebullient celebration here in NW Montana.

Light Snow during a Morning Walk with the Dogs
Light snow during the morning walk

March 4, 2009: There was a light overnight pelting of snow pellets on the deck this morning. The sun made an appearance along with swirls of clouds that had provided the pellets. Like yesterday, today the sun is in and out of those clouds and able to warm the air again. It was a fine day for work and play around the demesne.

Sunrise Clouds
Sun and clouds start the day today

Harmony Resting in the Snow and Catching Some Rays
Harmony lying the the snow

March 3, 2009: A conglomeration of clouds and sun today. Mild temperatures even without full sunlight, though. Lots of melting snow and the ranch roads have turned a bit soft. The horses all rested on the snow at the same time, I guess, enjoying the mild day.

Horses All Lying in the Snow
Horses resting in pasture snow

The five black horses lying out in the winter pasture snow

March 2, 2009: Yesterday's clouds gave away at sunrise today, giving a bit of color as they departed. It was a bright sunny afternoon around the ranch. Late in the day, clouds reappeared, and at about 7:30 PM a bit of rain fell and a single thunderclap was heard. So, it was bodacious mix of weather in NW Montana today.

Clouds at Sunrise Over the Paddock Fences and Trees
Pre-sunrise clouds over the paddock

Colorful Sunrise Across the Pastures
Sunrise colors on snow

Jonah with Clear Blue Sky
Afternoon blue sky, bright white snow, and Jonah

March 1, 2009: Clouds dominated the day today. The temperature was able to slowly rise at times during the afternoon as the sun peeked through breaks in the clouds. This allowed the snow to slide from the arena roof during the late afternoon. Overall, March arrived with no abnormalities, not in the weather of the day, nor with the arrival of any unexpected animals (lambs or lions).

Corral Fences and Snow on the Trees
Snow in the trees and corral fencing

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