April 6, 2019: Satellite Saturday

I haven’t flown for a little while. Thursday’s flight tests* were postponed because someone got sick, and Friday’s trip was cancelled due to heavy fog in the morning.

*Commercial pilots do quite a lot of training every year. For each type of plane we fly, there’s ground school and exams, flight training and a flight test where we deal with simulated emergencies and field questions from the examiner. In addition to my own two annual ‘rides’ [MAG Canada operates two different models of King Air, and I fly both] I also participate in training flights and rides for several other pilots.

The weather’s been cloudy lately, but skies cleared early enough today for cameras on both Terra and Aqua satellites to get fresh images of Lake of the Woods.

Both shots are a little blurry. In the Aqua satellite’s false colour image above, you can see a wiggly black line in the upper part of the frame. That’s the open water on the Winnipeg River and it’s almost continuous from Kenora to Minaki.

Another change is close to the center of the picture: open water is expanding in Big Narrows, and surrounding ice conditions look darker there over quite a large area.

There was more cloud cover when Terra took a shot, but both satellites show ice in a darker shade around the Whitefish Bay area near Sioux Narrows at the lower right of the frame. That should represent a large area of weakening ice or at least ice with less snow cover. This is probably partly due to the rain we had yesterday.

All the links under the Satellite Pictures heading have been updated, so if you’d like to see the same pictures in Natural colour, you can visit the University of Wisconsin’s site to see that and other options. The MODIS cameras on NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites deliver both natural and false colour images, and the USA3 compilations encompass a huge swath of Canada from Lake of the Woods to the Great Lakes.

2 thoughts on “April 6, 2019: Satellite Saturday

  1. Capt. Armstrong:
    Really enjoy the blog! Are the latest satellite pics showing significant darkening of the ice in Sabaskong Bay (Nestor Falls)? Wondering if that’s what I am seeing. Thanks!

    • I think so. The slight blurriness of today’s satellite images makes it just a little harder to pinpoint landmarks, but by tracking east from Big Island, I think Nestor Falls is in the darkening zone. This may represent thinning ice, or surface slush.

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