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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
www.iditarodtrailinvitational.com

(edit) Updates!
www.iditarodtrailinvitational.com/news/
www.facebook.com/iditarodtrailinvitational/

(edit) articles https://craigmedred.news/category/news/

(edit) trackleaders.com/iti18

February 25, 2018

(edit) See weather (METAR) readings, and cam snapshots from airports along the way.
avcams.faa.gov

(edit)
Alaska Aviation Weather Unit (AAWU)
See weather data from airports in Alaska.
www.weather.gov/aawu
hover over "Current Conditions", then click on "Surface Observations (Map)"
Click to check "Show popup on hover:". Zoom and hover on airport to see latest observations, 24 hr min/max.


Ice may be a little iffy.

Feb 4, 2018 sat image
(https://worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov/)
Note the grey, not white, of the ice heading out to Koyuk.

pack ice, 4 feb 2018.jpg


Feb 21, 2018 pack ice map
(www.weather.gov/afc/ice NWS Alaska Sea Ice Program (ASIP))

pack ice map, 21 feb 2018.jpg


Last March (March 9, 2017)

ice-pack-March-9-2017.gif
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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Iditasport is going on right now and racers should be approaching McGrath...They had a wet and snowy day or day and a half...was above freezing in Nicolai and McGrath today most of the time, mind-blowing for Alaska.
 

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I was not aware of the Iditasport race? A little friendly or not so friendly competition to the Iditarod??
 

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What impact will the Iditasport have on the Iditarod? With their supported course will there be more of a broken-in trail for the Iditarod racers?
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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I hear it's like 50* above normal. Is that true?
Not quite 50, given that the 34-35 degrees yesterday was during the daytime, but at least 30 or so. It's more normal to encounter temps plunging below zero through the pass and into the interior at this time of the year.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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What impact will the Iditasport have on the Iditarod? With their supported course will there be more of a broken-in trail for the Iditarod racers?
Weather is the deciding factor, cold temps will help new snow settle, snowmachine traffic will help to pack it in, as the Iron Dog race kicked off last weekend, but it snowed some in the last couple days and that really is the defining factor. Wind can drift snow and deposit it like a storm. Just too much variability to say that there'd be any help with previous bike traffic. Most likely no due to it not being very cold and snowing some.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
What's the weather forecast? Current trail conditions?
I've no idea on trail conditions. See Jayem's post two above. Hopefully someone there can post.

See weather readings, and cam snapshots from airports along the way. Zoom to the area, click on an airport. avcams.faa.gov

For example, Willow is showing:
25 Feb 2018 09:20 WIND N/A / DIR N/A / TEMP -7.9°F / RH 76.9%

Willow Feb 25, 2018.jpg

Skwentna
25 Feb 2018 09:20 WIND 002 kts / DIR 183 / TEMP -0.2°F / RH 82.2%

Puntilla Lake
25 Feb 2018 09:30 WIND 020 kts / DIR 333 / TEMP 6.7°F / RH 63.3%

Rohn
25 Feb 2018 09:30 WIND 004 kts / DIR 297 / TEMP 6.8°F / RH 83.5%

For some reason, sites with METAR aren't providing that data on the webpage for me this year.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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For some reason, sites with METAR aren't providing that data on the webpage for me this year.

Saw that last week, something is jacked up. There's a new beta test site that only works in chrome, but offers historical weather cam pictures within about a day, so you can see if someone maybe rode by at the right time.

It's likely to be a little cooler right now, weather has cleared out which usually results in clear nights and more radiation from the ground, which means more cooling. Haven't checked any forecasts though so I don't know what's coming. Usually weather hits Bethel/Nome first, so whatever is happening there can give you a good idea, unless a very strong high gets established over south central Alaska. Whatever happens in Bethel is usually about 2 days before Anchorage gets the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
... There's a new beta test site that only works in chrome, but offers historical weather cam pictures within about a day, so you can see if someone maybe rode by at the right time...
I'd been using that site since 2016. This year, more features on the map, but METAR data not coming through.

Wish they fed video. As it's only snapshots, there's only a few I've caught at the right time, and end up assuming it's them due to the absence of seeing anyone there before or after they went by.

Like here 2016 Iditarod post

Drove me nuts one time as someone rode into Golovin, stayed a while, and was back and forth a number of times right in front of the camera, just not right at the time the snapshots were taken.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
And they're off!

Race started!

(note: due to different times of the GPS position track logging, when the Latest Locations on the map are so close together, their relative position doesn't necessarily show who is ahead of who...)

2018 ITI start.jpg


2018 ITI start - 2.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #17
34 minutes, in

Before the race started, one tracker was showing a stationary position way to the West of the start. Green marker on the lower track map. At least it started moving after the start and is logging track points.

2018 ITI - 34 minutes in - tracker GPS position is off.jpg
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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I'd been using that site since 2016. This year, more features on the map, but METAR data not coming through.

Wish they fed video. As it's only snapshots, there's only a few I've caught at the right time, and end up assuming it's them due to the absence of seeing anyone there before or after they went by.

Like here 2016 Iditarod post

Drove me nuts one time as someone rode into Golovin, stayed a while, and was back and forth a number of times right in front of the camera, just not right at the time the snapshots were taken.
It's amazing that we get what we do from villages that are cut off from the rest of the world, there are huge connectivity/power issues a lot of the time, so a few stations will constantly be offline or a component won't work. In the near future, we'll be seeing a new weather unit integrated with the FAA cams, which is a much smaller and compact version of the AWOS/ASOS stuff. The hope is it'll be more reliable and give weather information for more locations, although it may not offer as many weather parameters. Current weather cams take pictures every 10 or so minutes apart, so yeah, you have to be in the right place at the right time, but I've seen some interesting stuff over the years on em.

Supposedly a big weather storm is approaching Southcentral, up to 9" of snow here, which means locally higher in the mountains. Seems bright and sunny, but we'll see. Again, I haven't looked into the weather forecast very hard, but the warm wet storms usually come from the south pushing up, the colder ones usually from the west.

https://www.weather.gov/aawu/sigwx

Looks like it's just starting to hit Western Alaska right now and headed for the lower interior, right where the racers will be. It's a pretty tightly wound up low with what looks like a good warm front out ahead, depicted as an occluded front, but possibly with the capacity to kick up a bunch of moisture, the cold front depicted looks to be a result of cyclogenisis and appears a lot further back than what I'd say is shown https://www.weather.gov/aawu/ but the last frame looks like the low is kind of "stretching out", resulting in the first one with the occluded front and maybe a 2nd more well defined one coming in right after. Be interesting to see. I only have a layman's education in meteorology.
 

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Does anyone know why halfish of the racers headed south down to Ayershire Road?
All of the cyclist do this, the other racers should be the runners/skiers. I think it's to seperate the traffic out and get them ahead without clogging up the trail, the trail isn't exactly super-wide at points initially, unlike out before flathorn where it widens out. You got racers towing sleds all over the place and skiers on skinny skis that tend to use up a lot of the trail. They did the same thing last year and as I understand it, it's standard for the race.

Last year myself and a friend rode out on the actual trail out ahead, the one the runners use, then we went south to Ayershire and joined the bike route, out to the party at Flathorn, which turned out to be a real long day because while we had some fun sections of trail, the ride out from the public-use area on Ayershire to Flathorn was very soft and slow, and we tried to jam to get out ahead of everyone. That ended up being a long day.

On the Iditarod trail last year somewhere around Big Lake:

GOPR5554.jpg

GOPR5555.jpg

Party at Flathorn:

GOPR5601s.jpg

GOPR5639.jpg

GOPR5622s.jpg
 
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