A friend of mine owns a bike shop in State College, PA that specializes in building custom bikes from a mix of new and recycled parts. The shop is called Freeze Thaw Cycles...appropriately named, huh? Here in Minnesota, the freeze thaw cycle takes on a totally different meaning. The Hoosier Mountain Bike Association explains the process:
"When soil freezes all the moisture turns to ice crystals between the particles of the soil, and in clay or loam soil they are tightly packed together. As the moisture freezes the crystals expand and tear the clay apart which shatters it, then as it thaws the soil becomes more porous and allows more moisture in. This is repeated with every successive thaw."
Minnesota sees over 100 freeze thaw cycles a season. Now is the time to respect the trails and ride only when conditions are right, usually when the trail is frozen in the early morning or late evening. If you enjoy mountain biking the Twin Cities trails, please support the organization and volunteers that make the trails a reality.
The coldest air since last March dumped into Minnesota this month. The air has been so cold yet the lake water so warm that lake effect clouds have been spotted as far south as St. Cloud from Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipeg, Canada!
With another whiff of Canadian cold early next week, this list of essential cold weather riding gear can help keep you warm when out in the elements.
Introducing 2WheelWeather Talks, where we discuss weather and its impacts on cycling! Our very first guest is competitive cyclists, April Morgan. She discusses the challenges weather can put on training and racing through all four seasons.
November is known for wicked storms like the Armistice Day Blizzard and the White Hurricane. So far, so good this November but as we know conditions can change rapidly. During the 1940 Armistice Day Blizzard, for example, the temperature fell 40 degrees in a 24 hour period. These storms tend to wreak havoc over the Great Lakes like during the 1913 White Hurricane. That storm produced white out conditions over Lake Huron with winds over 90 mph and 35 foot waves!
Carson from Welch shares this video from the North Shore over the weekend. The smooth lake surface provides very little friction so the wind can actually pick up speed. If the wind direction is steady then gigantic waves can be generated. I'm still amazed at how big those waves can get!
Speaking of disasters, a group of climate scientists have released a summary about "observed and projected changes in weather and climate extremes along with their impact on air and water quality." This article covers the impact of weather and climate extremes on air and water quality. Turns out that Minnesota is more susceptible to extreme flooding events. This is why we should be concerned:
Floods resulting from increases in heavy precipitation events or from snowmelt can cause combined sewer overflow systems, which are designed to discharge excess wastewater when under extreme duress, to overflow more often into nearby lakes, rivers, or other bodies of water, causing water quality challenges in these typically urban areas. Flooding of industrial areas or agricultural chemical storage locations can cause chemicals to move into nearby watersheds, also degrading water quality and even contaminating some residential areas. Low water levels due to drought can also contribute to deteriorated water quality.
After a wet yet warmer weekend another cold blast hits Minnesota. Highs will barely break freezing Monday and Tuesday followed by another thaw later in the week. No big chance of snow in the short term forecast. Fingers crossed Frozen 40!...hoping for a healthy snowpack this year.
Summer brings warm afternoons perfect for biking, but the summer heat and humidity can also spark thunderstorms and severe weather. Be prepared for any type of adverse weather headed your way with Aeris Pulse.
NWS Twin Cities Weather Story