November 15, 2018: We’re Making Ice

We’ve changed seasons. The average daily temperature has dropped below freezing, and it looks like the actual inflection date was November 7th. Effectively, that’s when freezing became the fashion, rather than the fad. In the week before that, average temps were right around 0°C, except for a mild Sunday on November 4.

Sunday, November 4. The pond by the Scenic Nook trail on Tunnel Island had mostly frozen over.

On Wednesday the 7th, the daily average dropped to -4°C, and in the following week it went as low as -9.5°C.

Same pond a few days later

The forecast calls for fairly consistent low temperatures in the next weeks, and let’s face it, we’re not going to start any serious melting in December. Remember, we’re talking about daily averages here, not daytime highs.

In summary, we’re making ice now. North of Red Lake, small lakes have been frozen since about the beginning of November, and on yesterday’s training flight, I saw small bays on Lake of the Woods were icing over. Strong winds were keeping larger areas from freezing, for now.

This time of year, I always see an upsurge in emails and comments asking if I’ll be reporting on ice thickness. Ice fishers want to know! Sorry, I will not. I cannot judge the thickness of ice from an airplane, and I worry that if I report that a certain bay has frozen, people will take that to mean the ice is thick enough to support them safely.

Someone sent this graphic my way. It doesn’t say which Department of Natural Resources, but I think the credit goes to Minnesota. Note the caveat that these guidelines should only be applied to new clear ice.

Have a safe winter.



10 thoughts on “November 15, 2018: We’re Making Ice

    • Hi Gary, don’t expect too much coverage over the winter. I made this post so that when spring comes, we’ll have a record of when the freeze started.

      • Thanks for the updates Tim. I enjoy watching the ice out progress.

        Is there a link we can view the Terra satellite images at? I would like to check them out over the next 2 weeks to observe the status of Clearwater Bay, Shoal lake, and Whitefish bay to assist in planning nomwobile trips.


      • Hi Scott, sorry about the slow reply- I saw your message when I was at work, and then I kind of forgot about it. If you visit the full website (as opposed to just looking at an email or the mobile version), there are links at the right side. Satellite links are below recent comments and the archives. For one or two tips on how to find what you’re looking for, check out the FAQ and scroll to the bottom of the page: satellite stuff is the last entry.

      • After weeks of cloudy weather, there’s a decent satellite picture taken December 9th. I’ve updated the link so you can go straight there. Short version: it’s pretty much all frozen. Disclaimer: I have no idea how thick it is.

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