Update: 9/11 10:51am
That came on fast. Latest river forecast out of NOAAs river prediction center has us completely underwater this weekend. It won’t even be close. We stop trips at 15kcfs and are now expecting 30kcfs this weekend (normal is 5-7kcfs). Beyond the forecast, the actual numbers we’re seeing up north already have us above the limit and we’re still expecting 3-4″ of rain across most of the state and our watershed (river forecasts only include the next 24 hours of predicted rainfall).
If you’re looking for a last minute alternative and don’t mind the extra travel times, the Kickapoo River might be okay. Camping is pretty limited to smaller groups though (I can personally recommend Kickapoo Wild Adventures in Ontario). You could also try the Manistee River in central Michigan or the Jack’s Fork/Current River (personal favorite) in the Ozarks which should be better for larger 20+ groups.
Update: 9/10 8:12am
Yuck. South central Wisconsin (the heart of our watershed) took quite the hit last night and there is still another 3″ of rain predicted for the same area of the state Wednesday and Thursday. Keep an eye on the graph forecast below, we want to stay at or below 13.5′ on Friday and Saturday to put trips out. Either way, sandbars will be much smaller than they are right now which normally wouldn’t be a concern except that we’ve got a few larger scout troops heading out this weekend. If you’re one of those groups, we’ll get you the high water satellite image from earlier this season that will help you pinpoint the location of sandbars able to accommodate your groups. The good news, given this is the second to last week of the season, is that there are very few total people actually going out so if we’ve got sandbars, it’s shouldn’t be a struggle to get one.
Looks like we’re coming to the end of our great month of weather/water levels. Statewide forecast is calling for a couple inches of rain over the next two days. If this happens, we’ll see water levels rise just in time for the weekend. Shouldn’t be enough to shut us down but it does mean we’ll have smaller sandbars and a little faster current. More updates to come as the forecast turns into reality and we see what falls where. At least the weather looks great for this weekend!