With as much below average temps we had this summer, I figured it was an almost certainty that we were going to get into a run of above average temps to “even things out”. In my years of forecasting and following the weather, it has become clear that there is a swing back and forth for just about every weather variable. It is not a perfect sine wave, but plot any weather variable over time and you will see a fluctuation from one end of the extreme to the other. The main variable is time.
My fear was that the flip to warmer than average would wait until late autumn or worse yet, winter. That fear went by the wayside about 2 weeks ago when it became pretty clear that the pattern would be changing to one which provides above average temps for not just the Keweenaw, but all of the Midwest. The forecast panned out and we spent the entire last week in above average temps. Even flirting with some record highs. At first the warmth was nice, but then by the second half of the week, I realized what I had NOT been missing for pretty much all of this summer. Humidity. The dewpoints went from the comfortable 50’s to the low 70’s and that made me an unhappy camper.
It got so bad that I started staying inside to avoid the humidity and that only made my mood worse! The light at the end of the tunnel was set for Saturday night when a cold front would blast through our neck of the woods and shove the humidity south and allow the nice, less humid, Canadian air to overtake the region. That has occurred and I am once again a happy camper. The humidity levels look to remain nice for most of this week and creep up into the low 60’s by the end of the week. I’m good with that, as most of my outdoor work should be over by then.
A big part of what made the humidity so un-welcomed was the fact that I was busy outside working on the addition. It is in the shade for most of the day, but by the late afternoon and early evening it is in the full sun. So the hottest time of the day would coincide with the most direct sunlight in my work area and make for some hot conditions. So hot that yesterday, I did not even work in the afternoon and evening.
The progress went a bit slower than I had hoped, but not way slower. I really had hoped to have it fully shelled in by this time, but still have a roof to do and a door. Considering the fact that I am still working full time during the day and also had a pretty busy week with other things, like a 2 hour conference call on Tuesday and a 2 hour meeting Thursday, I am happy with where I stand.
The week started with beautiful working weather and I was excited as I drove Big Red over to the build site with its loader full of materials and tools. It was really nice to just slide the materials from the bed of the truck onto the forks of Big Red and then put the tools on top of that and drive them all over to the build site. Saved some time and even more energy. By the end of the day on Tuesday, I had the floor completely done and then got going on the walls. By Friday afternoon, Millie and I were ready to lift the back wall into place. Truth be told, Nora helped me lift it into place when she got home from work Friday, but the pups did hang out with me for most of the week. They were able to find a nice shady spot to lay and occasionally go snack on some apples that were falling from a near-by tree.
Rains then kept me from doing much until this afternoon, at which point I got busy finishing the walls. So as things stand now, I have three walls (the fourth is the existing wall of the house) and am ready for a roof. The weather looks to be good for work most of this week, so the roof should be done by around Tuesday and then it will be on to getting the door put in and then opening up a section of the wall between the existing house and the addition. Then it will be time to call in the pros to do some plumbing work, finish off the interior walls, ceiling and floor and then smile, as I will be done with projects for the season! Actually, I am going to build some cabinets for the addition and some storage shelves for the pantry, but those will all be done in the comfort of the shop.
It sure is nice to not have to worry about getting 16 cord of firewood, cutting it all up and then stacking it! I guess you could say that, technically, once the roof of the addition is done, I would be ready for the snow to fly, although nothing like that is seen anytime soon and it would be preferable to get the addition completely done and be relaxing by the fire as the first flakes of snow fly. Time will tell I guess!
The first flakes of the season arrived late Thursday into Friday in the higher elevations of the northern Rockies. The good folks in Montana had to just be beside themselves with 2-3 days of soaking rains that fell, as well as the higher elevation snows. It has been an unusually active wildfire season out there and while the rains may not have put them all out, it sure helped a lot. I had fun taking some time late Thursday into Friday, be-bopping around the webcams out west, looking at the snow fly. That was a picture of Togwotee Pass in northwest Wyoming Friday morning.
The warm temps we had this week seemed to put the halt to most of the changing of the colors of the trees. We did have one of our traditional “early changers” reach peak this week and then the rains and winds last night stripped the tree bare and dropped them all into the addition! The rest of the trees just seemed to either stop or significantly slow their changing. I would say that we are probably still going to hit our peak a bit earlier than average this season, but while at one point it looked like the peak might be the end of this week, it still looks like the end of Sept and/or early Oct will be the peak for most areas from Houghton to Copper Harbor. I will be sure to monitor things and keep you all updated on the progress and quality of the color change up this way and do have hopes that the weather will cooperate enough to allow me to get the drone up and get some color video.
So I guess that about does it for this one. Just an early heads up that I will be at the Milwaukee Snowmobile Show again this October. I will be manning the booth for the Keweenaw Snowmobile Club and also plan to have some ThinkSnow stuff with me. I sure do love meeting all the good folks who visit the site at the show and am looking forward to it again this year. Until next week..
Good night from the Keweenaw..