Not really. These pictures are from Saturday the 7th, but they missed the deadline for getting posted yesterday.
The good news is, we got a solid pass from Sentinel 2 yesterday. This ESA satellite has a narrow field of view, so it doesn’t often image all of Lake of the Woods*. But when it does, the resolution is a dream.
*For broad coverage, the MODIS cameras on NASA’s Aqua and Terra satellites are better, and they pass overhead every day. But their images of Lake of the Woods are small, and cannot be enlarged.
This is a MODIS image from yesterday. The cloud cover is different from the pictures below because Terra and Sentinel 2 made their passes some hours apart.
Let’s start with Sentinel 2‘s view of the whole lake, in Short-wave Infrared. You can enlarge this image by clicking on it to see it full screen.
I don’t know if the SWIR version of a Sentinel 2 image is directly comparable to a MODIS false-colour image, but it’s very similar.
It’s very clear that ice quality is now deteriorating fast all over Lake of the Woods.
There was cloud in the northern parts of the lake yesterday, spoiling Sentinel 2’s view, so let’s take the opportunity to take a closer look at the south half of the lake, which I seldom get good images of. [It’s too much of a detour for a Kenora-based flight.] Shots of Morson and Sabaskong Bay are regrettably rare.
You can click on the following images to see them full-screen and zoomable.
This is from the same image, but zoomed in even more. Click on it and enlarge it all the way to see a lot of detail. I had to cut it off just north of Big Narrows to keep the file size below the 3GB limit set by WordPress. Even then, it took me two tries to upload it to their server.
As I was preparing this post, Terry and Mary James used the comment box to ask about whether their interpretation of what the MODIS images showed at Roughrock Lake was correct.
So l’m going to show them (and you) what Sentinel 2 can really do! Note the scale at the bottom right corner. 1km is about as tight as it will go. You can try to enlarge it further, but the image gets fuzzier.
Also, this timely comment from Bargeman, via email:
I live in Minaki and have had a boat in for the last week. My wife and I broke up the last bit of ice in the middle of Little Sand Lake to Rough Rock Narrows on Thursday. So the river is open from dam to dam. This has been the quickest opening (from looking very dubious about ice being gone by May long) I can remember. The water rising creating cracks everywhere around the shorelines combined with the strong current has increased open water way quicker….thank goodness. We have Sand Lake Outpost on Big Sand Lake at it is looking like our long weekend guests will be able to stay at our place on Deadman’s Island, just north of Harbour Island.
Hope this answers your question, Terry!
So while I’m at it, let’s see if I can find something for Pete Giroux. He has a place on the Manitou Stretch, east of Lake of the Woods.
I think you’re in luck, Pete: this is right at the eastern edge of Sentinel 2’s latest swath.
I was also curious to see how things were looking further north, up by Red Lake and Trout Lake, but that area was covered with cloud.
Recent warm–and now moist–weather are moving things along very quickly. I tried take a look back at 2014, which was the last time we had such a late thaw. MODIS images are not available for May 6 through 9 because of cloud. The May 5 image shows only a little of the lake, and the May 10 image is blurry, but I think I can say we’re pulling ahead of spring 2014.
Aerial photos I took at around these dates in 2014 were shot in rainy weather, and are hard to make out, but I think they also show we’re doing better.
That would be good, because the lake wasn’t entirely clear until May 21 that year.
I’m confident we’re on track to keep up with Sean’s recent prediction of May 18, and since the weather has been warmer than the forecast he was working with, he may be able revise his graphs again next week.
Keep in mind that when we talk about ice-out on Lake of the Woods Ice Patrol, we mean the whole lake, entirely free of ice. Significant areas are opening to boat traffic every day, and things will be improving daily. One of the bottlenecks we face right now is a lack of Marina access. Northern Harbour is situated on deep water, and is still iced in. Two Bears Marina, in Keewatin, has soft ice all around their docks and were not operating yet when I stopped by yesterday. Devil’s Gap Marina might have enough water to launch boats, but their open water doesn’t reach very far yet.
I haven’t surveyed a full list of marinas, but if you’re a marina operator, and you have news, feel free to use the comments form on the ABOUT page to let us know how things are shaping up for you. Are you launching yet, or opening soon?
Do you have friends who would want to follow Ice Patrol? I often get emails from people asking to get on the list. THERE IS NO LIST! To follow Ice Patrol and get the emails, visit the Ice Patrol home page and look for the FOLLOW button at the right side. Click it, and you’ll get an email every time I post a new article. If you change your mind, visit again and simply UNFOLLOW.
However, those emails do not tell the whole story. For one thing, if I update a post, a new email does not go out. If you want more, including updates, comments, links, access to archives and satellite images, and an FAQ page that is helpful to new users, visit the actual website.
To ensure that you see updates, use the refresh button on your browser to reload the page.
The emails are timely and keep you updated, but the website is the real thing.
5 thoughts on “May 8, 2022: Satellite Sunday?”
I have a favour to ask: would it be possible for you to check the image of my island to see if my runabout is pulled up high enough?
My island is immediately north of the northernmost point of Mather. It has beaches and camps on the east and west sides. The boat is on the east beach close to the dock shed and propane tank.
I work part time in Quebec where I’m writing from) and I was also here when the camp was closed last fall so I didn’t see if it was pulled up high enough.
I love your posts.
I’m sorry Jill, but I’m not flying any more. Worse, there aren’t even any float planes at the waterfront yet.
If anyone’s able to reach that area, could you take a look for Jill?
Jill it is Stu Everett. I can not get to your place by water yet, but once I can, probably in the next week, I will take a look
unbelievable that on Friday we were 500 yards away from our docks with a foot of ice and then Saturday the ice was gone due to warm weather and a strong south wind !
I was at Henderson marina yesterday (Sunday) – no ice I could see from there, but likely was some closer to Bigstone. Longbow had what looked to be pretty rotten ice. Didn’t get to NH, but could see open water in Pine Portage Bay from Storm Bay Rd. Cameron Bay marina had ice, but also looked rotten.