America's Wacky Winter Weather

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Trapper Badovinac, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. Trapper Badovinac Author, Writer, Photographer

    Posts: 456
    Helena, Montana
    Ratings: +603 / 0
    A freak snow and ice storm shuts down Atlanta and turn their freeways into parking lots . People were wondering about whether some Snowmageddon storm would shut down the Super Bowl. My brother lives in Michigan and they already have their entire winter's worth of snow. I'm not sure what's happening in western Washington and Oregon, but it seems like nearly everyone thinks their weather is worse than anyone else's.

    I maintain that in the lower 48, Montana has the market on wacky winter weather.

    Consider this. The largest recorded temperature change in one place over a 24-hour period occurred on January 15, 1972 in Loma, Montana, when the temperature rose from −54 to 49 °F .

    That's 103 degree change in 24 hours!

    About 20 air miles from my house is where the lowest recorded temperature in the lower 48-States happened --

    Minus 70F on January 20th, 1954. They believe the temperature was actually colder than that, but the thermometer only went to -70F.

    I've seen temps as cold as -50F and I've hunted and ridden horses when it was -30F. One year I cooked in the back country when the day time highs were in the minus teens and we had to break ice in the creek with a splitting maul so the horses could get water. Sleeping in a wall tent when it's -20 something is not for the faint of heart.

    Trapper
  2. weiliwen Active Member

    Posts: 217
    Chicago Illinois
    Ratings: +89 / 0
    I'm out here in the wilds of Chicago these days, and we're on Phase 3 of the "Polar Vortex," at 8 below this morning. It got as low as 18 below on one of the earlier ones this season. Not Montana temps, but tougher than I'm used to!

    We've also gotten about 2 feet more snow than the average year's total.

    I have a small river in my back yard, and my neighbors say they've never seen it freeze up before. I walked across it (carefully!) to the golf course on the other side yesterday. I needn't have worried - I have an old spoon auger, and used it to find that the ice was 6 inches thick at the middle of the river, the last place to freeze up.
  3. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,757
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,709 / 0
    Well winter came back to Dillon with a vengeance today. It has been snowing and blowing all day so far. The temp is only 13 degrees. Not much in the way of any depth, but with the wind whipping it around it is drifting some what good.

    The last month it has been somewhat nice. Temps in the mid 30's. But not to worry as it should only be nasty for about a week and then I should be able to get back out flinging some flies around.

    The Beaverhead where I fish doesn't freeze over, so when I feel like getting out I will. But the Big Hole has been ice covered for over two months now.
  4. Kyle Smith Active Member

    Posts: 2,003
    Bozeman, MT
    Ratings: +281 / 0
    Hard to believe that our phenomenal pre-runoff fishing starts in a little over a month. First it's midges, then bwo's, then skwalas, then March browns, then runoff and salmonflies!
  5. Rick Todd Active Member

    Posts: 1,861
    Ferndale/Winthrop
    Ratings: +237 / 0
    It is very weird! The Cascades are very low on snow and we could have big issues with lack of runoff this summer. You would think Montana would be dry as well but I understand snow on the ground is above normal! Then California is in a record setting drought, while the eastern half of the country is suffering through one storm after another! I definitely like all the sun we have had this winter in western WA but still very weird! Rick
  6. Cole L Fish Fiend

    Posts: 127
    Bellingham
    Ratings: +48 / 0
    Hows the snowpack in MT right now?
  7. Kyle Smith Active Member

    Posts: 2,003
    Bozeman, MT
    Ratings: +281 / 0
    Slightly above average! Hope it holds up, unlike last year when it all melted off in early May. It looks like everywhere but the Rockies is in trouble though.
  8. triploidjunkie Active Member

    Posts: 2,384
    Grand Coulee, WA
    Ratings: +1,334 / 0
    Last I heard, Loup Loup ski hill(I had a season's pass there last year) had only four or five inches on it, and has no plans to open this year. I'm hoping Feb/March bring a little precipitation to this part of the state. We desperately need it.
  9. Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Posts: 7,136
    Not sure
    Ratings: +1,226 / 0
    Climate change perhaps? Naw!

    K
    Eyejuggler likes this.
  10. Trapper Badovinac Author, Writer, Photographer

    Posts: 456
    Helena, Montana
    Ratings: +603 / 0
  11. Theron Active Member

    Posts: 229
    Near Coupeville, WA
    Ratings: +117 / 0
  12. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,757
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,709 / 0
    Minus 27 here in Dillon, at 7 AM. With a wind chill of minus 47. I ain't going outside today.
  13. Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

    Posts: 2,359
    .
    Ratings: +1,208 / 0
    Jim, I'll come pick you up and bring you to my house as we're a balmy -2. It will seem like summer!
  14. Gary Thompson dirty dog

    Posts: 3,891
    East Wenatchee, WA
    Ratings: +131 / 0
    Good idea, Sue
    We should go see Jim in March.
    Freestone likes this.
  15. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,757
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,709 / 0
    My wife's car almost didn't want to start this morning. Maybe I should invest in one of those car engine heaters..

    But it's warming up. It's only minus 21 at 9:35 AM. I sure hope spring shows up soon as I'm itching to get out and throw a few flies around.
  16. KerryS Ignored Member

    Posts: 6,751
    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +1,776 / 0
    Well sure it is. Now lets get into a good argument over what is causing it. Us or them?
    Kyle Smith, Freestone and Kent Lufkin like this.
  17. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 4,159
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,682 / 0
    Well... all the transplants in The Valley are freaking out over our second snow storm of the winter. This one is dumping more snow than the last one and it is supposed to keep snowing for two more days.

    Growing up in NE Oregon, I'm accustomed to snow and know how to drive in the stuff but the majority who live in this part of Oregon don't have a clue.

    They'd better learn. For all we know, snow during the winter is going to become the norm and shutting down the schools every time a snowflake falls from the sky ain't going to fly.

    When I was going to school, the only time they'd close it down during the winter wasn't because of snow but because the heater stopped working.

    On the other hand... the appeal of moving to this side of the state was for the mild weather and year around fishing... if this becomes the norm ... so much for the appeal.
  18. Olive bugger Active Member

    Posts: 2,461
    Woodinville, WA
    Ratings: +433 / 0
    It is my belief and the basis for my thesis on climate change, that the hot air coming out of Washington DC is the root cause. It is also affecting the fishing!
    KerryS likes this.
  19. David Loy Senior Moment

    Posts: 2,435
    Wolf Bay
    Ratings: +331 / 2
    I won't profess to know what is happening to our climate right now but it's pretty clearly being affected by GW to some degree. However, growing up in Kitsap County, I remember skating on ponds that froze up almost every year in the 60s and before. AFAIK they stopped freezing in the late 60s and haven't been frozen in the decades since, but might be freezing yet again now. I've seen pictures of Model T cars parked on Green Lake, and pictures of Liberty Bay (salt water) in the 30s/40s with the surface frozen and covered in snow. My point is only that it's not really like climate change is something
    new. Even in our lifetimes it has varied.
    I am concerned though and believe we've now had enough time with old tech (fossil fuels included) to F it up. I don't know if it's possible to rally enough to fix it but we better try to do what we can. Populating another planet is realistically many generations away. And worse still, there will only be hatchery brats.
  20. Trapper Badovinac Author, Writer, Photographer

    Posts: 456
    Helena, Montana
    Ratings: +603 / 0
    I've lived in the Rockies most of my life. I grew up driving in snow and schools very rarely closed.

    A few years ago I was out in Seabeck, Washington for Thanksgiving. A few days before turkey day it snowed about 5" and the entire area lost power due to downed power lines. I remember driving to the gas station to get gas for my inlaws Honda generator and thinking "Have these folks never seen snow before?"

    It was pretty clear many had no clue how to drive a car in snow. But, in fairness to them, I get videos from people who live in places like Colorado and Michigan, where they get plenty of snow, and those people don't seem to have a clue either.

    Trapper