Wow, this season is really something and we just can't seem to catch a break. Or at least a steady weather pattern. Last week we had some pretty amazing conditions, found some really good ice in places like Moore Rez which didn't freeze until the cold snap the week before last and is now covered with 9-12" of black ice. Chocorua was beautiful styo foam (see image below) surface until Sunday when the warm up changed it to water on top of boiler plate.(as seen in the image above)
Sqaum lake is a good example of how the season is going. The West end and Sandwich Bay in the East have enough ice that less cautious people are driving trucks on the ice. However there are pressure ridges that are extremely unstable and bordered by floating plates. After yesterday's torrent and today's warmth, my guess is those ridges are probably open water right now.
Today is forecast to be in the high 40's low 50's but then the cold front will move in tonight into Friday and bring temps back down to the single digits. Winds are looking pretty good Fri-Sunday but the surface conditions are the big question and with the state wide fishing derby and the lack of ice for everyone to fish and kite on, things may be a little tight. At this time we are trying to determine what the surface conditions will be like this weekend and if things will drain in time for clinics. At the moment it is looking somewhat bleak but things change rapidly so we don't want to suspend lessons just yet.
Right now our feeling is that the conditions as seen above are what we are likely facing this weekend. Not ideal for first timers obviously. We may get a wet snowfall in some places and that will make things actually pretty amazing for clinics but we can't say for sure. We are monitoring conditions almost hourly and will decide what the best plan for this weekend is. Hopefully by the end of the day.
Speaking to a client in Italy, he tells us that they are experiencing the same conditions there as well. Misery loves company. :-)
If you like riding bare ice, we've had a pretty good season.
WARNING. No ice is ever 100% safe. We offer condition reports as a service to our students and clients who are familiar with the area and as a source of general condition information to others. These reports are not intended to replace common sense or up to the minute first hand knowledge of a given area. Nor is it a substitute for common sense. When in doubt don't go out.