Copyright John A. Sperr


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thinning Ice & Broken Ice at the Shore

Sticky Snow & Wind Packed Drifts

Weather  Links

Iceboat Launch Site Maps & Directory for the Eastern US

Email John Sperr      On-the-Ice Cell # Request

Wreck of the Galatea Archive

February 19, 2011 Archive     February 16, 2011 Archive     February 13, 2011 Archive


Thursday, February 24, 2011

On one screen, I'm running NASA TV, watching them "fast fill" the upper main fuel tank with liquid oxygen in preparation for the final flight of the Space Shuttle Discovery. I'm sorry to see the program ending -- I grew up in the the "space age" and I'll not likely see anything as dramatic as the Shuttle Program or the Saturn V / Apollo program again in my lifetime -- the future belongs to the small robotic programs. Nor will these big birds ever see life again -- we are fortunate to be able to keep our little bit of history alive and working -- and having the joy and excitement of sailing these big old ice yachts just as they did 120 years ago.

Rain tomorrow should clean up the snow on Tivoli Bay and perhaps give us some sailing there on Saturday. The ice on the river is showing more cracks and the patches of blue water in the channel grow larger and more numerous every day. VIXEN will probably come off the river today, perhaps to move to Tivoli Bay on Saturday.  The weather models show another 4 - 5 inches of snow for Saturday night and Sunday, and then a larger rainstorm for early next week -- we'll soon be done everywhere. Someone suggested it was margarita time -- maybe Saturday afternoon at Tivoli?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I called Sunday wrong last weekend -- a cold night healed many of the holes and thin spots with 2" of fresh ice. Those who sailed were rewarded with a good morning of sailing. As the wind died around 3pm boats slowly retired from the fleet -- it was a difficult task getting them across the floating ribbons of broken ice and small floes at high tide. Amazingly, no one fell in -- the worst of it seemed to be a few wet feet and bruised shins.

End of the season for many boats after the wind died Sunday afternoon.

ORION off Kingston Point on  Sunday afternoon     Photo by Bob Wills

Floating ribbons and small floes of broken ice at the shoreline at high tide.

The river is now ice free south of Rhinecliff -- the sheet is slowly thinning out, moving around, and breaking apart. The snow of Monday morning drifted and packed very quickly and has made sailing all but impossible. At Cheviot, Reid Bielenberg reports that a crack has developed to the south that is wide enough to swallow a boat. Likely we'll move back to Tivoli Bay for the weekend -- perhaps Friday's rain will clean up the surface and the ice will hold in for a bit longer. Likely there will be a small social gathering on the ice Saturday afternoon before more snow and rain arrive Sunday.

Blue water from Kingston / Rhinecliff south

Snow ice on top of a layer of old, clear, "black" ice. Without the layer of strong clear ice, the soft snow ice would break up and disappear in a day or less.


Recent Photo Albums

Current Jetstream Forecast and Surface Conditions -- Image by Environment Canada


GFS Temperature Forecast Animation


ORION off Kingston Point on  Sunday afternoon     Photo by Bob Wills


Spider Tracks -- 5 minute map making.
Manifold GIS software directly importing  Garmin GPS
tracks layered on linked image of  Yahoo Street Map -- powerful & inexpensive software.



Ice Flight Photos

Nothing new since February 17, 2011

2011-02-17 Ice Flight Photos

2011-02-11 Ice Flight Photos     2011-02-09 Ice Flight Photos

2011-02-07 Ice Flight Photos     2011-02-06 Ice Flight Photos

2011-01-31 Ice Flight Photos     2011-01-26 Ice Flight Photos

2011-01-20 Ice Flight Photos     2011-01-17 Ice Flight Photos

2011-01-13 Ice Flight Photos     2011-01-04 Ice Flight Photos

2011-01-10 Ice Flight Photos     2011-01-03 Ice Flight Photos

2011-01-06 Ice Flight Photos     2011-01-02 Ice Flight Photos

Wind packed snow on the surface of the river from Kingston north

Jim Gurney inspects SPIDER -- photo by E. Gurney

Weather Links

Composite Weather from UniSys Zone Forecast Tivoli Bay 15 Image 5 Day GFS Forecast
Northern Hemisphere 850 Temp  Regional Summary -- Albany & VT 5 Image 2 Day Forecast Maps
US Radar from Intellicast Jetstream 4 Panel Forecast Snow and Precip Type Forecast Loop
Albany Radar from Intellicast Jetstream Map -- Environment Canada Water Vapor Forecast Loop
Albany Storm Precipitation Totals SailFlow Wind Forecast for Kingston NY 6 - 10 Day Threat Outlook
Day 1 Quant Precip Forecast Map  Wind Speed and Direction Map 10 day GFS Forecast
Day 2 Quant Precip Forecast Map Northeast Wind Speed (Kts) & Streamlines 31 Frame Forecast Animation
Day 3 Quant Precip Forecast Map Northeast Temperature 5 F Contour Quantitative Precipitation Discussion

Links to Field Reports of Ice Conditions

IDNIYRA Ice Conditions Reports

Saratoga Lake Ice Report

Yahoo Group  "IceReports"


Brakes On? 
photo Copyright Brian Reid, December 2002



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