We have our first aerial photos of the year. Colin Napper went flying with Connor Ward in Connor’s Grumman Cheetah on Sunday. He had some trouble sending the pictures (uploading full-size pictures often causes a smart-phone to time out or give up.) so I didn’t get them until today.
Anyway, here’s what the lake looks like near town, as of Sunday, March 20th.
You can click on these images to see them full-size and zoomable.
Note that there’s not a lot of open water, even in Safety Bay. In past years, I wouldn’t have started taking pictures until Safety Bay was open from shore to shore. If you’re wondering about the rest of the lake, fuggetaboutit. It’s ice.
And hello, what’s this?
So a big thank-you to Colin and Connor for sending these along. I hope they’ll become regular contributors. Feel free to thank them in the comments.
Speaking of regulars, I have heard from some of my other flying friends.
Bruce White, who flies Boeing 777’s has said he’ll take pictures when he passes over.
Josh Broten, who has been sending in pictures from his Cub for years now, has a fancy new plane. His Arion Lightning will let him travel over the lake faster.
Oh, and one last photo for fun. Sean Cockrem, the graph guy, had to snap this picture at a Winnipeg Jets game this winter.
Sean was amazed to see this in the audience. Someone explaining the Ice Patrol Pancake Graph to their friend. I’m delighted. Big shout out to these guys, whoever they are!
And now that the topic of graphs has come up, here’s a look at one of Sean’s. He’s been monitoring this winter closely because of how cold it was.
You can click on the graph, too, for a larger and sharper view.
This is a comparative graph that shows the Cumulative Freezing Index* for different years in different colours. By putting them together as an overlay, you can see how the winters since 2012 stack up. The fat dashed line represents this winter. Two things stand out. First, the only winter with worse numbers by this date was 2014, which was a brute. Second, the winter’s not over yet: in most years, we’re still making ice in March. One ray of hope, our recent warm temperatures clearly show as that uptick at the lower end of this year’s line.
*The Cumulative Freezing Index is a simple measure of how cold it’s been.
If the daily mean temperature was -5°C yesterday, the line grows downward by 5 points. If it’s +3°C today, the line swings up by 3 points.
Naturally, most years show steep drops in January, and start levelling off in March. This winter shows deep cold driving the line down in both January and February. If you were here, you’ll remember why.
I asked Sean if he thought we could have hit the Inflection Date** with our recent warm weather. He says it’s possible, but it’s quite common to see a warm spell give way to lingering cold weather. He’ll feel more confident when we see what kind of temperatures we get in the next week or two. They’re forecasting a cold weekend, with temperatures dropping as low as -17°C and highs of -9°C or thereabouts. After that, we’ll be getting close to April, and can hope for milder weather.
**Inflection Date is the date when the Daily Mean Temperature rises above freezing on a lasting basis. Right now, we’re waiting to see if it lasts. At Ice Patrol, we consider the inflection date to be the start of the lake’s thaw.
For perspective, average temperatures for this time of year are highs of around zero and lows of about -9°C. So when we were hitting highs of 10°, that was a bonus, and that’s why it stands out on the graph.
Okay, that’s all for now.
6 thoughts on “March 23, 2022: Colin Napper”
Thank you! Love the information and the pictures!
Extremely glad to see you posting again Tim!! And a huge thanks to you contributors for the photos – “Rare March boater” ….brave!
It’s good to be back! And I’m really grateful for those photos- I hope there’s more coming.
Brave? Yeah, I guess. If you had a breakdown, nobody’d be passing by to lend a hand.
Altho I’m in Florida at the moment I really appreciate the Ice patrol and all those who contribute work and Photos. At this time of year I often tell my wife I hear Canada calling
I confess to being obsessed with the data and graphs with respect to “cumulative freezing index”, “inflection date” and “pancake graph” as we have a island cabin north of Minaki. I have been accused of trying to over explain their importance particularly to the Habs fan whose hand you see in the photo.
Hi, how nice to hear from you, I was wondering who you were. Thanks for helping to spread the word!