May 11, 2019: Satellite Saturday

Aqua didn’t get a perfect look at Lake of the Woods today, due to some high thin cloud, but Terra had an unobstructed view, and got a beautiful sharp image.

Here’s the false-colour version first:

The three large ice sheets seen yesterday—on Shoal Lake, in Little Traverse, and south of the Barrier Islands—have all shrunk dramatically. The smaller patch on Bigstone Bay seems to have gone completely.

Fun with clouds: the fair-weather cumulus clouds at the left edge of the frame are low: you can tell because their shadows are sharp and tight.* The big patch of cloud in the upper right corner is higher, and the shadow is softer and wider. The cotton-candy clouds at the lower right are higher altitude, so their shadows are fuzzy and widely separated. It’s cold up there; these clouds are blue because they are composed of ice.

*When I see drifting herds of clouds like these over the prairies, I call them buffalo ghosts.

Here’s the natural colour version of the same image:

The details of the lake don’t stand out as well, but the ice is very plain to see. Interestingly, the city of Kenora is easy to spot: look directly above the most northerly ice sheet, and you’ll see a sprawling beige area. That’s Kenora. Now that you know where to look, squint at the false-colour image, and you can make out our three suburban lakes: Rabbit, Round and Laurenson’s.

There’s a bit more to say about Bigstone Bay. Keep in mind that a sheet of ice a kilometre square would only be a tiny speck of four pixels on one of these satellite images, so absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

I got this comment from Jeff, who finally reached Hay Island this afternoon.

I made it to Hay, all of Bigstone ice free, except for some in front of Smith Camps, which that is likely gone by now or close to.

Smith Camps is located on Thunder Bay, just east of Pine Portage Bay and Heenan point.

I received this picture from Ted Main at about 3:00 this afternoon.

Ted says: Here is a picture from Thunder Ridge Road (Heenan point) facing north to Northern Harbour.

There are patches of candled ice in the foreground, and perhaps a more extensive sheet towards Pine Portage Bay in the distance.

A note on the weather: a week or so ago, the outlook was dismal, with temperatures expected to run consistently a little below normal until the second half of May. We did better than that today: we spent several hours at 19ºC this afternoon, which is actually slightly above normal for  mid-May. It was lovely. I got the patio furniture out, and we had drinks on the deck. The Weather Network’s 14-day forecast now says that although daytime highs will run a little shy of normal, overnight lows will be on the mild side.

 

2 thoughts on “May 11, 2019: Satellite Saturday

  1. I’m a follower of your posts. Driving to Sioux Narrows from Virginia!! Overnight in thunder Bay tonight. We have a house boat reserved at Sioux Narrows for tomorrow . Jim, the owner. says we are set and can make it to our Pike and Muskie catching Bay. He said White Fish bay has ice but we can get around I to our fishing spot.

    Ron Schleede–International Aviation Safety Consultant RonSchleede@aol.com

  2. Hi Tim!

    Thanks for all the updates! Moya and I are out at our camp this weekend on Andrew Bay. We made it our yesterday from Bare Point Marina around Noon. On our return yesterday at dinner the south wind pushed a bunch of candled ice pack in towards the marina, but we made it back safely and slowly. This morning there was less than a third of the ice left that had been pushed into the Bare Point Marina and the whole open expanse of water east of Lunny island (which was packed solid yesterday) was wide open through to the Hades. There was still ice in BigStone as you mentioned, but will be gone by tomorrow I’m sure.

    Thanks again for an informed spring!

    Tom

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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