Yesterday was the fourth anniversary of Lake of the Woods Ice Patrol as a website. You can see the very first post here. Before that, I had an album on Photobucket that was technically public, but only a dozen or so people knew about it.
When I turned Ice Patrol into a WordPress blog, the site became searchable by anyone, and in four years the site has accumulated over 300,000 hits from all over the world and has acquired more than 2000 followers. Yesterday, I got my first interview with a US newspaper, the Duluth News Tribune.
Who’d have thought that many people would want to watch ice melt?
I’m celebrating the anniversary by rearranging the sidebar to make some of the popular features easier to find and use:
I’ve grouped the Archive links together. The Archive of Recent Months & Years offers a drop-down list for the spring months of the last four years. If you want to go further back, Years Before 2014 is the old Previous Years list, renamed and moved up. Those are links to the old Photobucket Albums, which don’t have much commentary.
The link to Satellite Pictures has moved up to have its own heading. That lets me name the latest link with the date (and the name of the satellite). That’s handy because I don’t update the link on cloudy days, and now you don’t have to keep clicking on the undated (and dubiously named) “Recent Satellite Picture” link to see if there’s a new picture.
In other news, there was quite a lot of interest in Sean’s graph correlating mean daily temperatures to the thawing timeline. Rick Lord emailed me to say he found a scientific paper in the Hydrological Sciences Journal that talks about “the relationships between the mean winter air temperature and the duration of ice cover and its maximum thickness” on lakes in Poland that concludes that this measurement makes “a good base for forecasting and modelling.”
Sean tells me that he’ll be updating his data once we reach a mean daily temperature above freezing. According to the Weather Network, that should happen next Tuesday or Wednesday.