This weekend looks to be as close as we’ll get to the mythical January Thaw, the mysterious and unpredictable surge in temperatures during the coldest month of the year. The 30 degree high tabbed for Saturday is a far cry from the 51 degree record high for that day but after last weeks run of sub zero’s it’ll do. Combine that with the good snow cover that we have and the weekend is looking good.
Someone mentioned this week that winter was half over and when you think of it, there is some truth to that. Days are marginally longer and we may be past the most bitter cold of this January. Cold weather and more snow certainly lie ahead but shades of optimism are growing in the legions of northwoods residents. If nothing else there is some hope this year that was not present a year ago in the deep freeze of that month.
Start the weekend with ice fishing if you wish and no better time than now with the DNR’s Free Ice Fishing Weekend, Jan 17 and 18th. No licenses are required this weekend and with mild temps it’s a great opportunity. Ice fishing has been generally good but also its popularity this winter has dipped; not as many anglers are out. This weekend may turn the tide.
Skiers are enjoying some good to very good conditions. All area trails are looking good for the weekend and the week ahead. We simply have had very good reports on all trails in the region this week; no single one stands out. But the simple fact remains that within a dozen miles of Rhinelander there are a handful of ski trails that will give any skier fine tracks.
Snowmobile trails remain good though we have had some reports of thin areas. With no significant snow in the forecast we expect that range of conditions to hold steady through the weekend. Keep in mind that the Eagle River Derby is this weekend and that usually brings an increase if trail use.
Overall the weekend looks to be another good one as good snow cover and warmer temperatures will offer up good conditions for outdoor recreation.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post in downtown Rhinelander.