We approached Kenora from the North this afternoon, and as the airport was busy with other arrivals and departures, we swung west to let the traffic die down a bit.
Since we were in the neighbourhood, I pointed my smartphone at Clearwater Bay.
Click on these pictures to see the full-size version that you can zoom in on.
This shot was taken looking southwest towards Clearwater Bay and Shoal Lake. Both are still pretty white, so I don’t think the ice will be gone from there for the weekend.
To the left of Shoal Lake, on Lake of the Woods, it’s very dark south of Big Narrows.
Let’s take a look at the satellite photographs. I’ve been keeping an eye on them, and although the weather has been quite fair, high clouds have obscured a lot of the area from the Aqua and Terra satellites, leaving this shot from April 19th as the best recent picture for several days. The satellite pics are not zoomable.
Shoal Lake is the patch of white near the upper left corner, Big Traverse is the huge white thing at the lower left, and the large greenish-brown area just right of center is the Alneau Peninsula. Kenora might be that tiny beige patch at the top edge.
After a week of cloud cover, Aqua got a clear shot yesterday.
Look at the difference: Big Traverse is almost clear. There’s lots of open water south of Big Narrows, but the areas near the top of the picture are the parts lake dwellers care about most. Still lots of ice near town, so back to today’s aerial photos, with a look southeast from high above the Keewatin Bridge.
Dead center in the frame is Shragges Island, and you can see wide open water stretching out past Town Island to Scotty Island. In the distance, also in the middle of the shot, it looks as if Andrew Bay is letting go. Bigstone Bay, in the distance at the left, is still ice, but turning darker. At the right side, The Manitou still looks pretty solid. Don’t forget to zoom in for a better look.
Lastly, a look at Safety Bay as we turned to line up on the runway.
Norman is in the foreground, downtown Kenora is at the left edge of this picture, Coney Island sprawls across the middle of the photograph. Gun Club Island is still enveloped in ice, but it looks pretty rotten.
The outlook is for near normal temperatures through the last weekend of April, but there’s talk of warmer temperatures next week. One forecast I’ve seen (Foreca’s) is calling for 19ºC on Monday. By then we should be hitting the tipping point, as the local ice cover diminishes towards 50%. When that happens, the action of wind and water will rapidly smash the remaining ice.
Some docks and marinas in and around town are clear now. Two Bears should be ice-free in a few days. Northern Harbour is more sheltered in Pine Portage Bay, and might hold onto some ice into next week, depending on temperatures and wind over the next several days.
It won’t be long now.