FROM COLD AND SNOW TO WARM AND WET
The weather in and around Knotty Pine is the big news of the day, the week, and the month for that matter. Highs all along the eastern Rockies hovered around ZERO for much of last week, ranging from 14 above to 5 below zero. Temperatures today are expected to rise above freezing, possibly reaching into the mid-40's, along the Rockies and the Shady River Valley.
Wind was also a major factor. Winds have been averaging 20 miles per hour with gusts up to 30 and even 40 mph at times. This produced wind chill factors of -25 to -40 degrees all across the region. Residents were advised to stay indoors as much as possible and dress heavily in layers if they had to venture outside.
And yes, the snow was falling even harder and faster than the temperatures. Knotty Pine has seen more than a foot of snow just in the last week. Areas north of the city have seen snowfalls of up to two feet in that same period. Snow pack totals in may areas range from five feet deep to as much as six feet deep. City and state road crews have worked long and hard to keep area roads clear. Crews had been working around the clock for several days. Ranger Bill also has some of his men and machinery assisted city and state plows. Ranger crews have pulled out their big guns, Big Brute and their two "Little" Brutes.
Big Pine National Forest Chief Ranger Bill Jefferson tells the GAZETTE that the weather service is predicting heavy melting of snow all across the region, raising creek and river levels at or above flood stage all this week. Ranger Bill advises valley residents to be cautious around the Shady River, whether driving or fishing. Ice on the Shady is even now breaking up creating large ice flows and ice jams.
BIG BROKEN GEAR
All this snow and cold has been a big boon to the various ski lodges and resorts throughout the Shady Valley and the Eastern Rockies. All area lodges are reporting heavy use of all ski and snow boarding hills. Ski trails have also been very popular this past week.
A major breakdown has shut down skiing on the Rock Run Ski Lodge. The main gear that drives the ski lift broke on Tuesday, halting the big ski lift on Rock Run's big hill. The only lift is a small cable that skiers can use to ski up the hill. A replacement for the broken gear is being made by a small machine shop in Boston, Mass. This replacement should be done and delivered by the end of this week.