Copyright John A. Sperr

Preserving and Sailing the Historic Gaff Rigged Ice Yachts of New York's Hudson River Valley


Saturday, January 18, 2014

January Thaw is Ending -- Arctic Cold Returns Tuesday

Still No Sailing

Last Winter on Tivoli Bay -- January 27, 2013

Weather  Links

Check out the new WTEN Futurecast product
(I've made it very easy to customize this link to suit your own preferences)

Iceboat Launch Site Maps & Directory for the Eastern US

Email John Sperr      On-the-Ice Cell # Request


right click and select "view image" to see photos in full resolution


Sustained Arctic Cold in the Forecast

Long range forecasts abound today calling for a prolonged period of Arctic cold to overspread a broad area of the country in the coming weeks. In areas from the Dakotas, across Indiana, through Pennsylvania, east to Maine and beyond, sub-zero readings will be commonplace. Some models show temperatures well below normal through the middle of February. By mid-week, the low temperatures should be in the single digits with the highs struggling to reach 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Should it come to pass, it could create an ideal sheet of ice on the Hudson River producing conditions we have not seen since 1982 and 1994. Throw in a nor'easter or two, and it is going to be a busy and interesting month for watching the weather and the river.

Light nuisance snow is in the forecast for the next few days -- I'll try and get down to the Bay Sunday and assess what ice is left there. The January 17th Ice Flight photos are of excellent quality and show the near complete demise of the ice on the Hudson River north of Saugerties. Note how it is slowly being shuffled down the river over time. The field of smooth ice above the Green Flats near Cheviot finally lost its hold and drifted away. With the cold air arriving in force mid-week, the river may lock up once again next weekend and the die will be cast for our prospects for the remainder of the season.

"Welcome" to new visitors who may have found their way here from recent links at Winters Past and the Wall Street Journal.

Tivoli Bay on 1/12/2013 after the rain

Late Day Sun graces the eastern shore of Tivoli Bay

The Coast Guard Auxiliary Air flew the River January 4 and returned with a complete set of photos from West Point to Troy. Most of them were shot from the west side of the river which gives us iceboaters the most interesting perspective. This set seems to be zoomed out quite a bit and shows the big picture -- I've linked the present and previous flights below and right for quick access. The January 8th and 9th ice flights contain numerous location errors -- I will edit and annotate those files later today.

I highly commend to you fellow iceboater Brian Reid's new blog -- I can now retire to Maine in peace knowing someone else has taken up the mantle here in the Hudson Valley.

White Wings and Black Ice

Reid Bielenberg with NORTH WIND on Tivoli Bay -- March 2011


My tool for measuring the thickness of the ice -- Red = 3 inches, Green = 6 inches

GPS track of SPIDER at Rhinecliff -- February 2011

Swamp Skating in SG-4 -- December 2009

ORION was first to set up on the ice at Rhinecliff in February 2011.
USCG Ice Breaker PENOBSCOT BAY soon arrived and skillfully docked without disturbing the newly formed sheet of ice we were setting up on.


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

After the rain -- 6" of ice at a drain hole. 

FDR's Ice Yacht HAWK on display at the Wallace Center in Hyde Park

FDR at the helm off Rogers Point


Aerial Photos of the Ice

The US Coast Guard Auxiliary Air Program regularly flies the river when ice conditions warrant and makes the resulting photos available for public use. Sometimes I edit and annotate them to point out interesting features.


USCG Ice Flight January 17, 2014

USCG Ice Flight January 16, 2014

USCG Ice Flight January 14, 2014

USCG Ice Flight January 12, 2014

USCG Ice Flight January 10, 2014

USCG Ice Flight January 4, 2014

USCG Ice Flight January 2, 2014

USCG Ice Flight December 31, 2013

USCG Ice Flight December 29, 2013

USCG Ice Flight December 27, 2013

USCG Ice Flight December 26, 2013

USCG Ice Flight December 20, 2013

USCG Ice Flight December 19, 2013

Skiing on Tivoli Bay -- January 2011

SPIDER at Rhinecliff -- February 2011

ORION's Christening Party -- February 2010

Web Page Archives

January 3, 2014 Archive

December 8, 2013 Archive

September 22, 2013 Archive

May 24, 2013 Archive     August 1, 2013 Archive

April 14, 2013 Archive     May 1, 2013 Archive

February 20, 2013 Archive     March 17, 2013 Archive

 September 23, 2012 Archive    December 22, 2012 Archive

June 4, 2012 Archive        July 14, 2012 Archive

January 16, 2012 Archive

Wreck of the Galatea Archive

December 26, 2011 Archive     December 15, 2011 Archive

October 2011 Archive          Early Summer 2011 Archive

May 2, 2011 Archive                    March 1, 2011 Archive

February 24, 2011 Archive     February 19, 2011 Archive

Ice on the move at Rhinecliff -- January 2010

New ice packing the shore at Rhinecliff 1/4/2014

Long, late-day shadows at Tivoli Bay


Maine Sunset at our Wild Blueberry Farm in Sedgwick -- October 2013

Weather Links

Stevens Tech SSWS & NYHOPS Zone Forecast Tivoli Bay 15 Image 5 Day GFS Forecast
Northern Hemisphere 850 Temp  Regional Summary -- NY, NJ, CT, MA 5 Image 2 Day Forecast Maps
USA Radar from Intellicast Jetstream Forecast Snow and Precip Type Forecast Loop
NE US Radar from Intellicast Current Snow Depth Water Vapor Forecast Loop
Albany Storm Precipitation Totals Saugerties Lighthouse Live Image 3 - 7 Day US Hazards Outlook
Day 1 Quant Precip Forecast Map  WTEN Interactive Radar and Futurecast 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



Email John Sperr



HRIYC.ORG is neither the official website, nor am I the webmaster, of the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club. I am a long standing member of the Club and during the sailing season  I frequently post photographs and information on this, my own personal website, about current iceboating activity in the Hudson Valley and beyond. I am the sole person responsible for the presentation of content and the opinions expressed herein. Interesting photographic contributions are welcome and appreciated -- I spend most of my time on the ice skippering and far too often fail to capture the best images of the day.                    ŠJohn A. Sperr MMXIV