Well okay. The thaw has finally started.
Thanks to the wet weather, the snow in town is mostly gone. Some of the larger snowbanks persist, but streets and sidewalks are basically dry.
So what about the lake? Justin Martin was out flying at around midday today, and sent me some pictures.
You can click on these photographs to see a larger, zoomable version.
We’ll start the tour at Northern Harbour on Pine Portage Bay.
The docks at Northern Harbour are at the lower right corner of the picture, and they’re completely ice-locked.
The next picture moves forwards and swings a little to the left to show Scotty Island and Middle Island.
In an Ice Patrol post almost a week ago, there were signs of weak ice to the south of Keewatin Channel. Wet weather since then should have made a difference. And it has.
Now we can see open water extending past Town Island, and reaching as close to Scotty Island as Anchor Island.
Time to check on the Barrier Islands.
The most notable thing in this view is the large patch of open water at The Elbow. There’s more water at Queer Island, and I think that’s a new development. At the left of the picture, French Narrows isn’t showing much change yet, but all the ice in the foreground looks soft.
There’s progress down at Big Narrows, too.
Lots of water here. Donald Duck Island is at the lower right, and this view makes it obvious how it got its name. The ice in this area looks fairly sound.
Next up, Ptarmigan Bay.
The photo above shows most of Ptarmigan Bay and Clearwater Bay. By and large, it’s all frozen.
There’s one exception.
That’s our round-up for today. Thanks, Justin!
Generally speaking, the ice is softening in areas with current, and areas of open water are expanding slowly.
Warmer weather is on the way, so we can hope for more progress in the days to come.
Today’s clear skies meant that Terra got a good look at us.
If you click on this satellite image, you’ll see a version with some landmarks tagged.
There are more patches of black, representing open water, and the land seems to have a lot less snow.
Here’s how it looked one week ago, if you want to see the change.
Seeing the images together also reveals how the quality of the ice has changed in a week. Notice how much darker the ice looks in the upper image. That indicates that it has grown weaker.
It’s not very helpful to look back on May 3rd of previous years. Often the lake was open by now, or nearly so. The one year that would be worth a look was 2014, another notoriously late year. I checked the archives at the University of Wisconsin at Madison’s website, and the pictures from early May of 2014 are mostly cloudy. From what I can see, the lake looked about the same. That year, Lake of the Woods wasn’t ice-free until May 21.
Signs of spring: the pelicans are back.
I think it’s time to mount my summer tires. We might actually see temperatures as high as 16°C this week. That’s a whole degree above average.
4 thoughts on “May 3, 2022: Signs of Progress”
Thanks for the update. It sounds like there is real hope!
Incredible photos Thanks much for doing this..
Most interesting to see the lake from your viewpoint.
Is it possible to get your latest modis image without the label? We have a camp on the river and the letter is obscuring our bay and we are interested in the ice in that area. I appreciate your time and look forward to your newsletter.
Thank you, Debra
email me at icecaptain(at)outlook.com, and I’ll see how I can help.