Tom Hutton and Andy Zabloski were out in one of the MAG Canada King Airs today, and Andy snapped some aerial photos for us.
You can click on these to see a larger, full screen version.
Yesterday’s sunshine and heat (we topped out at 17°C) did a number on the ice along the Kenora waterfront. Kenora Bay, where the MS Kenora and the Whitecap Pavillion are, is ice free this afternoon, and Safety Bay, in the middle of the photograph, is almost entirely open. Rat Portage Bay, on the left, is usually slower to melt, but the ice looks really rotten.
This second shot looks slightly south of west. Treaty Island dominates the foreground, with Rat Portage Bay to the right and Gun Club Island at the right side. The water near the middle of the picture is Keewatin Channel, and you can see that the open water there extends past Anglican Island to Crowe Island and Forrest Island.
Facing south, and looking over Holmstrom’s March across the Manitou to the Barrier Islands. At the left edge of the frame is the western tip of Scotty Island, and at the right side are the Slate Islands, and at the very edge is one of Whiskey Island’s points. The ice on the Manitou is always slow to go, but it’s very vulnerable to wind once it starts to break apart.
Here’s a closer look at the Barrier Islands, facing south east. This water is in the Elbow, between Allie Island at the left and Mather Island at the right. Each of the narrow gaps in this chain of large islands has significant current.
It’s amazing what one really warm day can do. The waterfront at Norman has been completely transformed since yesterday. Today was nice, too, but it looks as if we’re going to max out at 11°C today, and then we have some interesting weather coming. Wednesday and Thursday will be cooler and rainy, then the weekend will pick up to slightly above normal temperatures. However, most of next week will be below normal, and flurries are in the forecast. Temperatures bottom out next Wednesday when we’ll barely creep above freezing. A normal high this time of year is about 7°C, and overnight lows would typically be about -3°C. After that cool spell, it looks like we’ll be heading back to temperatures close to or slightly better than normal.
Out of that mixed bag, the rain is on our side. Snow would be bad if it persisted as a reflective white layer on the ice, but my guess is it’ll mostly turn to slush right away.
Signs of spring: I saw a water-bomber yesterday. The MNR’s spring training has probably begun, and Kenora offers some of the first big stretches of open water.
Because it’s been such a dry spring, the forest fire hazard is medium to high, and there are actually three active fires in the Northwest Ontario region. None of them are what you’d call headline news, but you can find more info at this MNR website.