March 16, 2022: It was a very cold winter

Hi, I’m back. A few people contacted me to ask if there would be an Ice Patrol this spring as, thanks to the pandemic, I am now retired from flying.

Yes. Yes there will. Naturally, with me not flying, there will be fewer aerial photographs. I’m fairly sure there will be some, because I still have friends flying.

Note to pilots: if you’re flying over Lake of the Woods between now and May, I’m eager to receive photos. If you have more than two or three, please carefully select just a few of the best.

Calling all drone operators: if you’re visiting the lake, why not take your drone along? You might get some nice shots of your camp, and if you happen to see any open water, I’m always keen to know where. Again, please don’t swamp my mailbox: two or three pictures is usually about right.

Email select pictures to icecaptain(at)outlook.com Please include a little information about when, where, who and how. Why is optional.

Please note; it is not possible to send me pictures using the comment box. That’s for text only.

I’ll be adding a DONATE form to the Ice Patrol website. If I can raise enough money, perhaps I’ll be able to take a plane out for a short flight.

Now let’s talk about the winter. 2022 has been unusually cold so far, and also very snowy. Last Saturday, the temperature dropped to an astonishing -28°C outside.  That’s close to the record, by the way: March 12th in 1956 edged us out, dipping to -30.6°.

An average temperature range for mid-March is overnight lows of about -11°C and daytime highs of right around the freezing mark. Yesterday and today we went above freezing for the first time.

I’ve been keeping in touch with Sean Cockrem, the guy who does all the pretty temperature index graphs. He reports that we have already achieved the second coldest accumulated freezing index* in recent years, and we still have more freezing temperatures to come.

*Sean tracks the severity of the winter by totalling the daily mean temperatures. In winter, this is a negative number that drops lower day by day, and graphing it gives a quick visual on how long and cold a winter is. This gives us an idea of how much ice will have formed.

That means we can expect the ice to be thick and the thaw slow. Heavy snow cover will act as a thick and reflective blanket of insulation, protecting the lake ice from spring’s warm air and sunshine.

Warning: there is very deep slush under the snow. Be wary if travelling on any lake.

By the way, if you’d like to meet me in person, I’ll be speaking at the Common Ground storytelling event on April 9th at Seven Generations, 240 Veterans Drive. I’ll be doing a twenty minute presentation on what I’ve learned watching the thaw for over thirty years, and I should have a couple of minutes for questions. Tickets go on sale March 15th and will be available at both the library and at the museum at a cost of $35 payable by cheque or cash. The ticket includes lunch and refreshment breaks.  This event sells out fast so be sure to let your friends and family know.

I won’t be posting very often just yet. Lake of the Woods is about as frozen as it gets.

That’s all for now. Hope for the best, but be prepared for a late thaw.

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10 thoughts on “March 16, 2022: It was a very cold winter

  1. A sure sign….. seeing your email…. that spring might, just might be close by!

    Don’t blame you for retiring but thanks for monitoring other pilots’ photos!

    Linda & Mike Radcliffe

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • Umm… retiring was not my idea. The pandemic wiped out my employer’s work, and we all got laid off. Temporarily at first, but after two years, they had to make it permanent.

  2. Thanks for the update!! I’ll try and continue to provide photos when I can. Cheers Bruce White AC 777 skipper

    On Wed., Mar. 16, 2022, 15:10 Lake of the Woods Ice Patrol, wrote:

    > icecaptain posted: ” Hi, I’m back. A few people contacted me to ask if > there would be an Ice Patrol this spring as, thanks to the pandemic, I am > now retired from flying. Yes. Yes there will. Naturally, with me not > flying, there will be fewer aerial photographs. I’m fairly” >

    • Hi Bruce, that would be very helpful. Hoping for clear skies for you, it can be really hazy at your altitudes!

  3. Hello Icecapitain

    If you have problems because of many photos and the file size, you could have the photos sent with WE Transfer. There you can send up to 2 GB of data. There you get an iMail with a link to the photos or movies and you can download them directly from the Internet to your PC, without your iMail account being charged with data. The good thing is that you can send photos in full resolution. The photos are ready for download for 1 week, after that they are deleted.

    I’ll send you some photos for testing and you can have a look at it.

    When the mother of my buddy died, her friends from the USA and South Africa could not enter Switzerland because of the lookdown. I filmed the funeral and then the abdication in the church and so her friends could watch a 70 minute movie thanks to WE Transfer and could say goodbye to their friend.

    Many greetings from Zurich

    Marco

    PS.: The vacations at LOTW start on June 20th. I hope we will be allowed to enter then.

    Translated with http://www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

    >

    • Hi Marco, thanks for passing along that idea. It’s not the data plan, it’s the download time. Even with a reasonably fast internet connection, if people send me large numbers of big picture files, it takes a long time to download them. Don’t worry about June 20th, the lake will be ice-free well before then.

  4. Apparently your information re Common Ground is incorrect. After rushing to the Muse for tickets ( they sell out quickly) it turns out they’re just being printed and will likely by available next week for $30 each not $35. I wondered why I hadn’t heard anything from the usual reliable sources. Peace MaryB

    On Wed, Mar 16, 2022 at 5:11 PM Lake of the Woods Ice Patrol wrote:

    > icecaptain posted: ” Hi, I’m back. A few people contacted me to ask if > there would be an Ice Patrol this spring as, thanks to the pandemic, I am > now retired from flying. Yes. Yes there will. Naturally, with me not > flying, there will be fewer aerial photographs. I’m fairly” >

    • Yes, sorry about that. I cut and pasted the information from an old email, and didn’t realize things had changed.

  5. Pingback: May 14, 2022: Courtesy of MAG Canada | Lake of the Woods Ice Patrol

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