Update: Water levels will come up a few inches over the weekend. Not enough to cancel trips but sandbars will be in shorter supply than usual. Everyone will have a place to camp (there's only about 14 seperate groups going out) you might just have to share the larger ones. === Our last regularly scheduled weekend of the season is upon us and it's gonna feel like fall. Crisp weather with sunny skies and highs in the mid 60s, lows in the 40s - ideal campfire weather. Water temps are still in the high 60s so while swimming probably isn't going to be great, you'll be fine if you accidentally go in. There is one area I'm keeping a close eye on though. We recently had a lot of flooding near Labor Day weekend and while the sandbars are back out, the water levels are still slightly elevated above normal levels. We've had a little rain this week and likely one more storm before the weekend. I don't expect it to cause any issues (all of the gauges and predictions look fine) but based on our freaky weather patterns this month, it's always possible things get weird. If that were to happen, there will be an update within hours of those updated river predictions - but again, as of right now all indicators look good and there's plenty of places for you to camp out.
Water levels continue to recede as expected. We'll have plenty of sandbars out for this Sep 15-16 weekend and with clear skies, highs in the mid 80s, and favorable winds, conditions will be about as good as they get. Now that we're past Labor Day expect to have most of the river to yourself. Our rental numbers drop 75% from peak season just two weeks ago.
What was forecast to be a small amount of rain has, once again, turned ugly. Over the past two days most of Wisconsin has been hit with multiple rounds of high rainfall storms. Current river projections look bad. Really bad. Our stretch of river is potentially looking at 50kcfs by the end of the weekend (we cancel trips at 15kcfs, normal is 5kcfs). As such, it's a safe bet that we will not be running trips this weekend. All of that said, the stationary front that has been causing all of this record flooding is finally moving out of our area. The next 10 days look to be sunny and warm which will allow the watershed to quickly draw down back towards normal levels. While this weekend is almost certainly out of the question, I fully expect water levels to return to normal levels before the following weekend. The current weather forecast is about the best thing we could hope for.
Current river forecast (we aim to be in the white area for good sandbar conditions)
We've picked up 3-6x more rain than normal over most of the state since 8/22/18
Despite all of the rain and flooding last week (and really the two weeks prior to that as well), we're looking pretty good for the weekend. Most of that rain was local or south of us leaving the vast majority of the watershed relatively dry. This means that while we were at high water over Labor Day weekend, it's already mostly drained out of the system. Sandbars will continue to emerge over the next couple of days even with the somewhat damp weather. Finally, by this weekend, the stationary front will begin shifting south and east getting us out of the line of fire. The only real concern left is the chance for a few inches of rain to fall over the central/northern part of Wisconsin today and tomorrow. If this is a fairly normal quick moving storm we won't have any issues with high water later in the week. We'll know for sure sometime Wednesday morning. Meanwhile, the actual forecast for this weekend has been improving quite a bit over the past few days so we're hoping that trend continues as well through the work week. Ryan