April 14, 2018: Four Years Old

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.


8 thoughts on “April 14, 2018: Four Years Old

  1. Hi Tim,

    Just a quick note to say thank you very much for all the work you put into running Ice Patrol.

    My wife and I follow along with eager anticipation to see when we can get out to our place on Channel Island.

    Have a great weekend!

    Paul Milburn

  2. Since our cabin is situated on Boys island in Clearwater Bay, we need to know the ice conditions before making the trip from Winnipeg. Icepatrol continues to be our ‘go-to’ in planning an early Spring cabin rendezvous. Many thanks for your work and awesome shots .

  3. Congrats on 4 years! …and tons of interested followers!
    Your posts make the long anticipation of summer approaching…so much more interesting.
    I look forward to the photos, stats and…open water! 👏👏

  4. My name is Floyd, I live in Tyler Tx and I’ve been following you for four years. I love getting the email updates and keeping up with what’s going on with the ice conditions up in Ontario. I will be making my 25 outpost trip up this summer. In May of 2014 we had to back our trip up a week due to a late ice out. This year we’re doing a boat in trip to Slender Lake. It’s apart of the Pipestone chain of lakes. Keep up the good work. It’s a blessing to all of us who come up each summer. Thanks from your friends in Texas. By the way we are having a low temperature tonight of 34 here in East Texas. Just got thru covering up my tomato plants, unusually cold here for us this time of year. Thanks again. Floyd.

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Thank you for the picture of Myrtle Rapids, I really appreciate it! Keep up the great work!

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