Today will break 50, and the last time that happened was on Christmas! (according to the National Weather Service out of Boston.)
This sustained warmth, even over last night, means that the long slow melt is moving right along and where the ground is bare it is nothing but mud. Things are going to get really sloppy out there on the trails between the snow absorbing melt water and the ground getting super saturated.
Stay on the trail, even if it is muddy, to contain the impact of the trail to a narrow corridor. Spreading out the damage is not helpful to the forest and encourages soil erosion.
Last night, inspired by the warm temperatures and driven by the months of fighting the deep cold, it was time to grab a shovel, punch through the deep snows, foot by foot, and head out to the tent platform. It had multiple feet of snow on it, but the prospect of someday being able to camp again was a magic elixir, and making use of the months of skill building and stamina gains in shovelling, it was time to clear off the platform to let it finish melting the sheen of ice and start drying out. Besides, if the rains predicted had materialized, the amount of weight on it could have become a problem.
The interesting thing was just how deep the snow was even after all of these warm days, and the extent to which the melt was simply absorbed into the snow as additional weight. Without a rain storm these snows are going to stick around a good while.
And we never did seem to get the rain that was predicted for last night. There are drops collected on the ends of branches, so some moisture collected, but it wasn't an awful lot from what else is out there for evidence. One wonders who did get that rain in the end?
8:00 a.m. Trailhead Conditions at Cascading Waters (elev. 630'):
Temperature is 39.8 degrees F and steady;
Humidity is 98% and steady;
Pressure is 29.65" and steady;
Wind is stirring, with a long stretch of 1 mph during the observation period;
The sky is broken clouds with occasional sun;
The Cascades Brook is partly covered and partly open;
The Cascades are mostly buried in snow and ice;
The USFS Fire Danger Class is NONE!
National Weather Service Forecast:
Areas of fog before 9am. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 51.
West wind 7 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.