Category Archives: Weather

Flooding wipes out Mill Towns Trail bridge, slices Armstrong Road, undermines railroad bed

Another (100-year?) rainfall ‘event’ has brought me out of my blogging hiatus.

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I took these photos early this afternoon on Armstrong Road near the Northfield compost facility where runoff from this morning’s torrential rainfall cut through the road, washed away the Mill Towns Trail bridge, and completely undermined the railroad bed.

More photos to come? Probably.

Update 7 am, July 14:

More photos to show the size of the washout on Armstrong Road.

A construction crew evidently arrived yesterday and has begun work on the railroad bridge. My friend used to do water damage repair in Los Angeles and is on the work crew.

Update July 18:  A few more of my flooding-related photos below. See Rob Hardy’s comprehensive listing of links related to the flooding on



Finally: snow and cold

Robbie Wigley with Laylapoodle
It’s been long time (two years?) since we’ve had significant snow here in Northfield. Today’s 8+ inches of heavy wet snow was only half the amount that some places got around the Metro area but good enough to make things spectacularly pretty, including these two, Robbie and Layla. 

The wet snow stuck to Layla’s underbelly and legs, making her look like a toy poodle, which was worrisome to me. One never knows when the Rotary might hold another Poodle Shoot fundraiser.

Downtown is looking festive for Winter Walk but something’s missing

Xmas decorations in Northfield at 68 degreesXmas lights on Bridge Square with no snow

A week ago yesterday, it was 68 degrees when I took the photo on the left of the Rare Pair‘s winter-themed display window.  This morning I noticed that the trees on Bridge Square are all dressed up with Xmas lights for Winter Walk 2012 next week, with nothing but brown grass underneath them. Highs this weekend are forecast to be close to 50 degrees, with possible thundershowers.

It’s good for my mountain biking, but I’d rather have downtown looking like it did two years ago just prior to Winter Walk 2010. See the large slideshow of 28 photos (recommended) or SLOW CLICK this small slideshow:

Let’s hope public safety officials continue being judicious about the use of severe weather warning sirens

June 17, 2010: the mildly ominous sky that triggered storm sirens Jessica Paxton and Ross Currier, unhappy that the Taste got shut down

Two years ago on Day 1 of the Taste of Northfield, local public safety officials triggered sirens for a storm that was 60 miles away and never arrived, effectively shutting down the event for no good reason and making Jessica and Ross very unhappy. Day 2/Friday night was spectacular.

Today, severe weather is a distinct possibility and this year, Taste of Northfield is only one day, not two. (Tomorrow’s forecast looks perfect for outdoor events.) So a lot is riding on today’s weather. 

I think there have been 4 or more severe thunderstorms warnings issued by the National Weather Service in the Twin Cities (NWS) for the Northfield area this year (anyone have links to confirm?) and I’m pretty sure all have proved to be a bust. Maybe a lightning strike or two but nothing close to severe. 

Thankfully, local public safety officials who have their finger on the sirens have not pulled the trigger on any of those non-severe storms. And hopefully today, they’ll be likewise judicious.

Ice circles revisited and a software/app company discovered

Carleton professor Jeff Ondich is a GBM regular and this morning he stopped by my corner office to alert me to the ice circles forming below the Ames Mill dam. I blogged about ice circles back in 2009 but haven’t seen them since.

ice circle below the Ames Mill dam ice circle below the Ames Mill dam Jeff Ondich and ice circle below the Ames Mill dam 
Jeff’s photos (left and center) of the ice circles with his smartphone turned out a lot better than those from my smartphone. However, he really does have zombie eyes from spending too much time in front of a computer.  In addition to being a computer science professor, he owns a language software/app company in Dinkytown called Ultralingua; they also have word game app called Accio.  Now if we could only convince him and his Twin Cities-based employees to relocated to Northfield. Hmmm.

Photos: pond hockey rocks

pond hockey in Hidden Valley Park pond hockey in Hidden Valley Park pond hockey in Hidden Valley Park

I don’t know if my Xmas Eve post (Looking for a place to ice skate outdoors? Consider the pond in Hidden Valley Park) had anything to do with it but a game of  hockey broke out on the pond in Hidden Valley Park yesterday afternoon.

It was classic neighborhood pond hockey: shoes for goal posts, goalies in their shoes, no checking, no raising the puck, no one bothering to keep score, lots of smiles.

pond hockey in Hidden Valley Park pond hockey in Hidden Valley Park pond hockey in Hidden Valley Park

Looking for a place to ice skate outdoors? Consider the pond in Hidden Valley Park

Ice rink at Way Park Cannon River above the Ames Mill Dam  the hockey rink next to the Northfield Ice Arena 
It’s not only the lack of snow that’s plaguing us. It’s also been too warm to make decent ice for outdoor rinks.  As of yesterday, the City’s neighborhood ice rinks weren’t skatable. Witness the rink at Way Park above. The Cannon River above the Ames Mill dam looked skatable for those looking to either win a Darwin Award or to be ticketed by the Northfield Police. Your only option for outdoor hockey: the hockey rink next to the Northfield Ice Arena, as the two hockey rinks at Carleton College aren’t yet skatable.

Ice on the pond in Hidden Valley Park Ice on the pond in Hidden Valley Park Ice on the pond in Hidden Valley Park
However, the stormwater pond in Hidden Valley Park in my backyard is near-perfect for ice skating. Some of my visiting relatives took a tour on foot yesterday afternoon.

Photo redux: blizzard, Dec. 11, 2010

While digging through my photo archives to create the new winter-oriented photo banners now at the top of Logro, I browsed through my photo album of the blizzard one year ago today, which I blogged about here.

We received about a foot and half of snow that weekend.  I remember thinking as I was about to cross the open field in the Upper Arb in near-whiteout conditions, Should I do this?  It would be more than a little ironic if I ended up like my grandfather. (He froze to death during the Armistice Day Blizzard of 1940.) I decided that near-whiteout wasn’t the same as complete-whiteout.  I loved it.

See the large slideshow (recommended) or slow click this small slideshow: