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Old 03-05-2008, 10:40 AM   #1
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Default Saturday, March 8 and a "block" for late March

It is looking like another storm for this Saturday. It is too early to determine where the rain/snow line will setup, but it looks like an inch of water (QPF) or more.

If this is all snow, expect 8 inches or more or heavy snow. If it is rain and the storm goes west of us pulling up warm air, watch out for flooding and more roof loading. I am somewhat concerned that it could have a lot of ice with it. It is possible for a cold layer to be trapped at the surface with warmer air above.

Bottom line is that Saturday looks to be stormy and we do not need any more storms right now.

It also is looking like an omega block setting up for the second half of March. If this is the case, it will be wet throughout the period adding to our situation.

Sorry for the bad news.

If you have not purchased flood insurance, start think (acting) now. Same applies for snow on the roof. It looks like the weight load will be increasing in the near term.

R2B
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Old 03-05-2008, 04:57 PM   #2
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Default Active pattern continues

I see what R2B sees. Storm coming for Saturday. Looks like the only question at this point will be "rain or snow or mix?"

This one does give us some hope in the flood situation, because unseasonably cold air is going to be part of the equation. It will move out of central Canada and across the northern U.S. toward New England.

Here, it will meet Gulf of Mexico moisture streaming northeastward. When the two entities tango in this part of the country, the result is a Nor'easter... a storm that hits the northeast, travels a northeastward track, and hits the coast with strong winds from the northeast.

As with all such storms it will have two sides: Cold on the northern and western side, and warm on the south and eastern side. In this case it is the warm side we need to be afraid of, because the area is primed and ready for a damaging flood.

The cold side would add to what we've been experiencing all winter, but the flood situation wouldn't be an issue this time... buying us more time to get ready.

Given the two sides of the storm, forecasting this one will be a matter of tracking it, which is always a challenge in this part of the country. My quick look I just had with the models shows that most of them have it tracking very close to the coast, but that gives us the cold side, with snow, for the most part... (phew...) A couple of the models are showing it going west of us, which would bring up the warmth and heavy rain.

In either case I would expect a good deal of water content, given that the origin of the moisture is the Gulf of Mexico.

When the storm passes we will get the abnormally cold air on the backside of it. With as much snow as we have on the ground, cold air is now our friend. It slows down the flood situation.
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Old 03-06-2008, 06:37 AM   #3
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Default Gfs, Nam, Euro, Dgex...

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Winter is not over yet. There's more coming (after tonight) sometime around March 8th.

BT
I made the above post in the "enough already" thread on Feb 29th based on the 8-9 day GFS. I know, as a rule, the GFS is a poor performer in the long range, but it has done very well this year 7-10 days out. What do you guys think?

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Old 03-06-2008, 07:41 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Blue Thunder View Post
I made the above post in the "enough already" thread on Feb 29th based on the 8-9 day GFS. I know, as a rule, the GFS is a poor performer in the long range, but it has done very well this year 7-10 days out. What do you guys think?

BT
GFS has been horrible. It sees a storm for a run or 2, then loses it for more runs. Very inconsistent. The Euro inside of 3 days has been a champ however.
Any models are rarely very accurate over 3-5 days at the most. If they do get it right, it is most likely just plain luck.
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Old 03-06-2008, 08:43 AM   #5
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GFS has been horrible. It sees a storm for a run or 2, then loses it for more runs. Very inconsistent. The Euro inside of 3 days has been a champ however.
Any models are rarely very accurate over 3-5 days at the most. If they do get it right, it is most likely just plain luck.
I agree with you there Chip. What I meant to say was if it's there on the 180-240 HR run, it generally winds up being there at the end. The GFS is horrible at waffling back and forth and almost never carries an event in the medium range.

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Old 03-06-2008, 08:55 AM   #6
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Snow changing to mostly heavy rain Saturday.
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:14 AM   #7
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I agree with you there Chip. What I meant to say was if it's there on the 180-240 HR run, it generally winds up being there at the end. The GFS is horrible at waffling back and forth and almost never carries an event in the medium range.

BT
That is true. The storm may be there, but this year the track has been wacky. 7-10 day GFS shows a massive Low coming up the coast, giving us 1-2 feet of snow. Next thing you know, that sucker is heading up to the Great Lakes, and we get a nice cold rain, or a mix event. Hasn't failed this year. If half the storms were coastals, we would have 180" to be dealing with!

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Snow changing to mostly heavy rain Saturday.
Sure seems likely that we will see ~2" of rain. Not a good scenario.
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:14 AM   #8
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Default Getting Ugly!

The storm for Friday night into early Sunday morning is looking like a mostly rain event, with 2 to 3 inches of QPF. It is looking like 90% of it will be rain in the lakes region. It could start as sleet or ice but if it does, it will change to rain quickly. It could also end with a bit of sleet or ice, but that would be minor. This wet forecast is very bad news for roof loading and for flood potential.

As far as roof loading is concerned, an inch of rain that is fully absorbed by snow already on a roof or deck adds 5.2 Pounds per square foot. Therefore, if you have a 20' x 30' surface and we get two inches of rain, and it all gets absorbed, you are adding over 6,000 pounds to the total load on the surface. Considering the surface already is carrying a huge load from what is already there, this additional load could push the surface past the yield point. It is the fluffy stuff on the upper levels of the snow that will absorb the water, The heavy stuff at the bottom will not absorb much more water becauser it is already saturated. If you can get the fluffy snow off the roof or deck, you are doing a lot to help your situation.

As far as the weather models, the GFS has been more accurate than usual the last 7 to 10 days. However, it is almost always inconsistant run to run. The UKMET and the European have been much more accurate this winter and in most past winters.

There is still some question regarding the track of the approaching storm, and there seems to be a significant disconnect between current Forecast Discussions from Gray, Me and Taunton, Ma. I think Taunton has it right with a coastal system and Gray has it incorrect with a system going to our west. However, wherever the system goes, it is looking like rain for us. The only question remaining is wind direction, NE if Taunton is right and SE if Gray is correct.

This forecast is not good news. I hope that I am wrong!

R2B

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Old 03-06-2008, 10:28 AM   #9
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Default Home Insurance

Is there a special insurance that you need to cover you in the event that your roof collapses under the weight of the snow? I assume regular home insurance covers you for that but not flood damage unless you have special coverage for that
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:48 AM   #10
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Default Cad

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Originally Posted by Resident 2B View Post
The only question remaining is wind direction, NE if Taunton is right and SE if Gray is correct.R2B
All this model talk, I just had to take a peek. I'm seeing cold air damming (CAD...I wasn't calling R2B a cad in the subject line ) and I've never known cold air damming to happen with a SE wind. Just taking a quick look at Gray's discussion, it looks like they're model hugging, i.e. treating the model as if it's correct, so that when it flips from one solution to another, they flip the forecast to follow. This can be very dangerous in terms of blowing a forecast...I would have liked to see more qualifying comments in the discussion.

When I hear a meteorologist talking as if a forecast has verified even before the event has begun, it's like hearing nails on a chalkboard. Since Harvey Leonard moved over to Channel 5 from 7 (Boston for those not in the area), I try my hardest not to watch Channel 7. The final straw for me was listening to Pete Bouchard during a heatwave in 2002 saying there was no way that we'd break 90 degrees that day and that the official heatwave would be over. Not only was the 90 degree mark broken, it was shattered into a million pieces. As a meteorologist, unless you live someplace like San Diego where the biggest decision to make is whether the clouds will come in off the ocean at 10:00 or 10:30, never, never, never speak in absolutes when forecasting.
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Old 03-06-2008, 12:56 PM   #11
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Default model vs reality trend

Rose, I have noticed the same behavior from the NWS in Gray this winter.

There's an interesting trend I've noticed in the past few weeks. The models have been consistently favoring warmer/wetter solutions, while reality has consistently been providing colder and whiter conditions than the models had forecast even 24 hours before.

Even this most recent storm had been forecast to be mostly rain with maybe some sleet, and little or no accumulation for the NW end of the lake. We ended up with 1.3 inches of snow, followed by freezing rain, NOT plain rain. Total ice accumulation was about 0.25" on top of the snow. A few nights ago we had a low of ZERO here, while my friends in the Boston area were surprised to hear me say it got that cold up here. They didn't have a huge snowpack to help chill the night off, once it got clear and calm. The models had called for a chilly night here, but not zero. On the morning of February 29 we had a low of -17... even at midnight, there were no models or human forecasters (including myself) who thought it would go that low. I've watched situations like that happen more than once in the past few weeks... in storms and in clear weather alike.

I think this "cold air favoring" is the result of our incredibly deep snowpack that extends from central Canada all the way to the eastern tip of Maine. The models seem to have been predicting what would normally happen without this record snowpack. When you put ice packs in a cooler, it keeps the food cold. When you put a giant ice pack on the landscape, it does the same thing on a larger scale. It becomes a lot harder for a warm front to scour out the last remaining cold air at the surface, because the snowpack is actively cooling the air at the surface. On sunny days like today, it's also acting as a giant mirror, deflecting lots of solar energy right back into space.

With that said, I'm nervously favoring a colder solution than the models are indicating. I wouldn't be surprised if this storm's predicted track started taking steps closer to the coast instead of inland, as the models are now predicting. Normally in March, cold air moving southeast from Canada doesn't have as much 'oomph" behind it, like it does in January, and this is what I think the models are latching onto -- 'typical March.' But I think our unusually deep snowpack is probably going to help preserve the cold air's eastward-moving force. That is not something the models would predict.

If the storm does go west of us, I think we'll hold on to the initial snow for longer than the models indicate, and when we go over to freezing rain, we're likely to stay with freezing rain for most of the storm. Southern areas where there is not as much snow on the ground would likely see plain rain, and probably flooding as well.

If the storm goes east, we'll have a lot less to worry about in the short-term--just a matter of where to put the snow, and keeping roofs shoveled, but otherwise a gift of time for more people to prepare for the eventual melt.

There is one other thing to consider, should rain fall here: The most recent storm left our snowpack without a fluffy surface, so its former ability to absorb water is now gone (except for where the sun is softening it up). What's more, the surface of the snowpack (which still stands at 35 inches at Black Cat) is now "bullet-proof" ice. The weight of the ice compressed the pack by 7 inches, and if I spray water on it, it just flows across the top of the snowpack now. This tells me that there's a much greater "runoff" factor for any rain we get from this upcoming storm.
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Old 03-06-2008, 01:21 PM   #12
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Default

Again,snow/sleet to start then heavy rain followed bya few inches of snow.
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Old 03-06-2008, 05:26 PM   #13
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Default Winter Storm Watch

The National Weather Service in Gray ME has issued a winter storm watch for all of New Hampshire except the counties along the Massachusetts border. This watch is for Friday afternoon through Sunday morning. The winter storm watch is also in effect for all of Vermont except the MA border counties, and all of Maine except extreme coastal.

The latest NWS forecast calls for 2-4 inches of snow in the lakes region followed by possibly damaging ice accumulations.

Joe Cupo on WCSH-6 Portland (NBC) has just said he thinks the precipitation will start as rain and change to snow as cold air moves in from Canada during the day on Saturday. He said he expects mostly snow and sleet in the mountains, with gradually more rain mixing toward the coast, but all areas trend towards snow as the cold air moves in.

Whatever falls as liquid will freeze on Monday as the cold air takes hold.
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:56 AM   #14
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Default depends

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Originally Posted by Sunbeam lodge View Post
Is there a special insurance that you need to cover you in the event that your roof collapses under the weight of the snow? I assume regular home insurance covers you for that but not flood damage unless you have special coverage for that
It depends on the type of policy you have, Best way is to pull your policy and look for the word "collapse" and read every where you see that word in the policy. It will direct you accordingly. If you have a "broad coverage policy" and it is not specifically excluded then you would have coverage.
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Old 03-07-2008, 10:49 AM   #15
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This should prove interesting...

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Old 03-07-2008, 04:09 PM   #16
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Thumbs up Closet weather junky....

Just a quick note to say thanks guys & gals!

This has been one of the most interesting and informative threads I've had the privilege to visit this winter.

I confess, I am a closet weather junky....and as tempted as I am to jump in to the conversation my expertise pales in comparison the CLP, R2B, and one of the rarer but in my top 10 favorite posters list - Rose!

I hope you folks keep this thread alive, especially into the summer months, 'cause this is the kind of stuff that makes this website so unique!
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Old 03-07-2008, 04:12 PM   #17
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Default Flood Watch

The National Weather Service in Gray Maine has issued a flood watch and a winter weather advisory for Belknap County, and a winter weather advisory for southern Carroll County.

The winter weather advisory is for ice accumulations of .25" to .5" and the flood watch is for the possibility of 3 inches of rain falling on top of the existing snowpack. At this point they are only expecting small river and stream flooding, as the larger rivers still have a few more feet to rise before they'll overflow.

The storm is becoming quite noteworthy throughout the eastern half of the nation. Blizzard warnings are now in effect for a large portion of Ohio. Winter storm warnings and snow advisories extend from western New York State southward to all but southernmost portions of Alabama and Mississippi, and the northeast corner of Louisiana. Snow is currently falling in northernmost Mississippi and is expected to expand in coverage.

We are expected to receive the rainy eastern side of the storm as it tracks very close to the northwest of here. A shift in the storm track to the southeast by just 100 or 200 miles (very small, in the grand scheme of things) would result in our receiving several inches of snow. Otherwise, if the current forecast track verifies, we will receive a fair amount of icing and some very heavy rain.
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Old 03-08-2008, 09:42 AM   #18
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Default Jump on in, Skip

Thanks for the kind words and vote of confidence, Skip . It was a nice thing to read on a lousy Friday. All the credit goes to R2B and CLA for drawing me back to forecasting with their well-informed and thought out posts.

You should really jump in any time into these threads. Making observations, asking questions....any input is great. Answering questions helps to reinforce and expand ones knowledge. And we know any questions or comments from you, Skip, are going to be of the highest quality.
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Old 03-08-2008, 05:07 PM   #19
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Default Corning Rain

The coming storm may help the flood situation in the long run. An inch or so of warm water will corn up the snow and melt through the ice. The thawed ground can then start soaking up the water. Maybe we'll dodge the flood bullet this year.
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Old 03-08-2008, 06:28 PM   #20
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I won't say it's not possible, LG. At this point I'll agree anything is possible. I have to eat some 'humble pie' as this storm passes: I had sided with cold air and more ice, and we've had almost no ice at all this time around. Temps in the low-30s, and plain rain, now approaching the 1-inch mark for storm total.

Even Mount Washington is reporting plain rain and 32 degrees.

The cold air has been just to our west. The western half of New York and Pennsylvania have been getting all snow from this, and temps have been running in the teens and low-20s all around Lakes Erie and Ontario. This cold air will be making its way in here tonight, and will be staying for a couple of days.

As I write this, Kevin Mannix on Ch-6 Portland is talking about a repeat of this storm, a week from today.

The load limit signs are now up, along Center Harbor and Moultonborough's highways. The signs remain covered for now, until the DOT determines they're needed.
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Old 03-09-2008, 08:07 AM   #21
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Default GFS has been showing this a few days

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Originally Posted by CanisLupusArctos View Post
As I write this, Kevin Mannix on Ch-6 Portland is talking about a repeat of this storm, a week from today.
This storm was on the GFS on the 12Z run on Thursday (I think that was the run I was looking at). Looking at the 00Z GFS run this morning, it's still there, but the northern and southern streams don't phase, and the bulk of the moisture stays offshore. We'll have to keep an eye on it.
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Old 03-09-2008, 08:17 AM   #22
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Default That is my point...

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This storm was on the GFS on the 12Z run on Thursday (I think that was the run I was looking at). Looking at the 00Z GFS run this morning, it's still there, but the northern and southern streams don't phase, and the bulk of the moisture stays offshore. We'll have to keep an eye on it.
This is what I was trying to say up above...the GFS has been pretty good in the 7-10 day range. I expect it to drop off for a couple of days and then show up again. As you say Rose, it remains to be seen...

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Old 03-10-2008, 10:09 AM   #23
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Hey CLP, what is your current snowpack? Is it on your web site (couldn't find it)?

I'll have a measuring stick up for next year. Interested what the 1.5" or so of rain did to the depth.
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:39 AM   #24
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Default snow depth

The snow depth is in the 'comments' section of the WeatherCam site. It's at the bottom of the page along with the lake temp.

Right now it's 30 inches and it's SOLID on top. It supported me carrying a bin full of firewood yesterday. My foot went through the crust in only a couple of places... down about 12" before it met more solid stuff underneath.

The storm brought us 1.35 inches of rain, which I can tell is now frozen in the snowpack.

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Old 03-10-2008, 12:55 PM   #25
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Hey CLP, what is your current snowpack? Is it on your web site (couldn't find it)?

I'll have a measuring stick up for next year. Interested what the 1.5" or so of rain did to the depth.
Why do you call him CLP???
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Old 03-10-2008, 01:07 PM   #26
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Why do you call him CLP???
I'm guessing he has him confused him with his Indian cousin, Canis Lupus Pallipes
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Old 03-10-2008, 01:12 PM   #27
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Default Ice conditions

Has anyone ventured out and about after the "storm" that never really happened? I was hoping to make it out to the island this past weekend but got distracted. Looking to head out this weekend but not sure of the conditions. In addition, if anyone is on rattlesnake and/or going out to Rattlesnake, please let me know. I need to retrieve my camper cover for my boat, since I sold it.

Thanks and keep up the great conversations. Any interested in playing a game of "golf" this summer around Rattlesnake? Each house chooses a different drink, and you win if, and I mean if, you can play all 18 holes.
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Old 03-10-2008, 01:46 PM   #28
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Default Ice Conditions - Meredith (Mar 09)

I strapped on the snowshoes and trekked over to Bear Island on Sunday March 09. Where snow had either drifted (like near the island) or had been pushed into ridges by vehicles, one could walk atop the bumpy solid snow ice. There were numerous and large areas where 1/3 inch of ice capped 3 inches of standing water above the solid ice base. While I never worried about the base being unsafe, this made for some unpleasant walking conditions, even with rubber boots.
Two guys on a pair of ATVs seemed to have good success in these conditions, as they were on the island clearing a roof.

On the the island, 2.5 to 3 foot snow on cottages and decks was common - though I am pleased to say I saw no catastrophic roof failures. Snow shoes only sank 4-6 inches into most of the snow pack, though every so often I'd find a soft spot and sink knee deep (and I'm 6' 4").
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Old 03-10-2008, 03:07 PM   #29
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Why do you call him CLP???
You know what, I honestly have no idea. My apologies, CLA!
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Old 03-10-2008, 03:24 PM   #30
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Wink CLP vs. CLA

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You know what, I honestly have no idea. My apologies, CLA!
Maybe you were confusing him with CanisLupusPredictos!
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Old 03-10-2008, 03:48 PM   #31
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I think it would be a diplomatic gesture if the new poster could choose a different screen name.
I've already made that request.
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Old 03-10-2008, 08:30 PM   #32
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Default I'm totally amused!

Hilltopper, no worries. I'm amused by the discussion that came about. CLA, CLP... what's in a name, anyway? A 'P' looks like two thirds of an 'A'. CanisLupusPredictos... I like it! Except after this last storm, I'd have to be called CLNP (non-predictos.) I guess even card dealers in Vegas casinos have to lose bets from time to time.
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Old 03-11-2008, 05:52 AM   #33
Blue Thunder
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Originally Posted by DRH View Post
I'm kind of surprised to see someone coming on the Forum and posting as "Snake Eyes", when the "Snake Eyes" designation has been used for a number of years by Island Girl for her Rattlesnake Island webcam. The "regulars" on the Forum all associate "Snake Eyes" with Island Girl, but she says she has no idea who the new poster is using the "Snake Eyes" screen name.

The new poster "Snake Eyes" may very well not be aware of the long-time association that name has with Island Girl and her webcam, so my intention here is not to criticize that person. However, I think it would be a diplomatic gesture if the new poster could choose a different screen name.
Couldn't have said it better myself, Don. There are many of us who think very highly of IG and her "inspiration" for keeping "Snake Eyes" up and running. I really think the new member has coincidentally chosen a screen name that strikes a chord with many of us. (my selfish reasoning)

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Old 03-11-2008, 11:49 AM   #34
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Couldn't have said it better myself, Don. There are many of us who think very highly of IG and her "inspiration" for keeping "Snake Eyes" up and running. I really think the new member has coincidentally chosen a screen name that strikes a chord with many of us. (my selfish reasoning)

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Hey, maybe its FLL's new incognito screen name?

Anywho, to answer snake eyes question, I did not get a chance to go out this last weekend, but hope to this weekend. I did notice that there was very, very, very little on ice activity this weekend at the Weirs and Paugus bay, which appeared to have been due to ice conditions. Even the bob houses on Weirs bay had enough and went home.
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