Monday, December 14, 2009

February 2017 Ice Conditions?? We're done!

February 20, 2017-----------> Done, before we got started.....

February 20, 2017
Took the boats off the lake's edge Friday the 17th. Too many days upcoming in the 50s and 60s. Ice is done, another season with no ice here in the Hudson Valley. (other than the 24 hours or so in mid-January). Feel free to check back to this blog for more on the history of ice yachting on the Hudson River. We are still finding & restoring old boats, and discovering articles and stories. 

February 9, 2017
We had our first real snow since the winter of 2015!
We got 11 inches of snow in the Hudson Valley today. More snow upcoming in the next few days. We're buried for a spell....

February 5, 2017
A visit to the one lake locally where boats had a few days of ice time is now open water. 
3 Sundays ago we had a few minutes of sailing on a not so breezy day.  For the past 3 weeks: Warm weather, sleet, some snow, a bunch of rain, more warm weather.....  the ice in front of the launch is gone. The north section of the lake still was ice, though no doubt very weak.  
We've had 3 nights of temps in the teens, but not enough whatsoever. 
We'll need a good stretch of cold to rebuild ice here. Stay tuned. 

January 16, 2017
All boats are up off the Lake and on shore: 3 Whirlwinds, Lady and an Arrow and a DN.
Wait through this week of rain and warm temps. We'll look for a drop in temperatures soon. Hopefully we can drop the boats back on the ice.  Stay Tuned....

January 15, 2017 
The ice is already starting to degrade. Got a half-inch snow dusting last evening. Bright sun today softened the ice here and there. Some mid afternoon breezes had Whirlwind up on 2 runners. All boats were pulled off the ice this (Sunday) afternoon. Upcoming week looking bad - many days over 45 and most nights not below 32.  Boats now waiting for next freeze.  Be safe on ice as the warm temperatures intrude over next 7 days. 

January 14, 2017 
There is 5-6 inches of beautifully smooth ice on this small lake outside of Newburgh. It may be sailable for only another day or two as it looks like we are getting 7 straight days of above 40. sigh.

After the rain  & several days in the 50s, ice at a local Hudson Valley Lake managed to hold on and Friday night's cold firmed up ice and, just as important,  the mud in the front yard.  
I imagine that Tivoli Bay has enough thickness, but haven't heard any reports or updates on access. 

January 7, 2017
We are looking at a nice stretch of very cold weather. The next 5 days will stay below freezing. I anticipate some local lakes will set up with enough ice. The upcoming cold is not likely to get us on the river. Tivoli Bay may be sailable; BUT...and a big but, access is an issue and needs to be resolved. Bantam in CT should come in. Will update as I get news. Of course after this nice cold spell it is forecast that we will be rewarded with rain & 50 degrees by mid-next week. Stay tuned.
While we are awaiting some real sustained cold here in the Hudson Valley to pull out the big boats,  other lucky iceboaters are finding great ice.  You can follow ( or drive up and join) iceboaters in Mass, and Maine who have had fine conditions for over a week. 
Tantalizing stories can be found at  

December 2016:

Find out lots about ice, ice thickness, ice safety, immersion strategies and more at:  

12/30: The Mid-Hudson Valley was hit with a good 4" of wet heavy snow on the 29th. Rain & 40s early next week should help saturate & reduce the snow down to the ice layer now buried. Colder temps look to be in store for late next week.  stay tuned.  

12/23:  Heron Swamp - my favorite skating spot nearby in Tivoli. Wonderful morning skating around the deadfall of the swamp while we startled the resident pair of red tail hawks from tree to tree.  Marveled at the construction of over a dozen great blue heron nests. Ice was softening by noon as temps went over 40. One of the reasons we won't be pulling out the ice boats just yet.  
stay tuned.... 

Over a dozen great blue heron nests sit some 40+ feet up.

12/21: walked out on Tivoli Bay on the Solstice. 4- 5 inches and nice skating ice at the south end. Walked 100 yards out,  just 1-2 inches. Fortunately it was low tide and the ice was almost sitting on the mud. Even if there was 5 inches where we walked, the surface was awful. Upcoming days do not look to make more ice. we'll need a good snow, then thaw, then freeze, stay tuned.   
Ice not really safe yet...
South end of the Bay, where we typically set up the boats;
4 inches in this section only ( ice sitting on the mud at low tide)
A nice smooth skating rink of sorts. 

Some awful jumbled ice about 100 yards out.

Logan measures about 2 inches a little further out. Ice cracks regularly around our feet.

Some beautiful black ice - glass like. That's 1.5ish inches of ice with 2 inches of water under it; then the mud.
Water chestnuts ( "devil-heads") are frozen in the ice everywhere. Invasive in more than one way... We saw a bunch of minnows and, perhaps, small catfish. (they were pretty quick)

Looking north towards Tivoli.

12/18:  temps in high 40s at noon; raining; yesterday's 5" of snow is a waterlogged 2-3 inches; 
quick drop in temperatures forecast for early evening; Still, looking at 5 days around 40 later in
the week, and nighttime temps not cold enough; still waiting for consistent cold. stay tuned. 

12/14: cold temperatures are arriving. We'll be in the single digits by the end of the week.  (Yay!)       We are also looking 3-5 inches of snow (Boo!) which would bury any ice that forms. Late weekend looks like rain, and thermometer in the upper 40s.  Toward Xmas temps will be back in 40s.  Not looking like we'll get sailable ice before New Years.  (But you never know!) stay tuned.  

past years' ice checks...

Measuring thickness on Tivoli South Bay, December 2009.

Incredible black Ice December 2010. Tivoli South Bay.

Skeeter & Lake Hopatcong skate sail. December 2010. Sepasco Lake.

December 13, 2013; Looking at SW corner of Tivoli Bay.