May 9, 2023: Warroad

There’s definitely still ice in Warroad.

Here’s a photo from Gordy Streiff, taken yesterday evening at the mouth of the Warroad River, when the fog had lifted enough to see as far as Springsteel Point.


Muskeg Bay with Springsteel Point in the distance.

That was taken at around 6:45 Monday evening. Thanks, Gordy.

Here’s a photo of the same general area from George Marvin, taken twelve hours later.

Mouth of the Warroad River.

That one’s from 6:15 this morning, when the fog was back. Mood.

These photos left me wondering how extensive the ice is, so I waited until this afternoon, so that clearing skies might give NASA’s Aqua satellite a look at the lake.

While I was getting that ready, George Marvin sent an update with these aerial photos.


Firstly, this is obviously not just a little ice jam at the mouth of the Warroad River. There’s a sheet of ice out there that measures many miles across.

Muskeg Bay looking east towards Rocky Point.

Muskeg Bay is pretty much ice-filled from shore to shore.

Looking north with Buffalo Point in the distance at the left.

Thanks for these, George.

One question I’m not sure I have the answer to: is this all loose ice that blew in from Big Traverse Bay, or is it still the original ice sheet, still intact?

Well, let’s move on to the satellite images for a little more context. Although I was expecting only Aqua to get a shot, (because it passes overhead in the afternoon), when I checked, I found out that Terra managed to get an image this morning.

MODIS image of Lake of the Woods from Terra satellite, May 9, 2023, in false colour.

The north half of the lake is covered in cloud, but it’s fairly clear the ice still covers much more than Muskeg Bay. It looks like about half of Big Traverse is icy, and a good portion of Little Traverse, too.

Aqua‘s afternoon image shows little change.

MODIS image of Lake of the Woods from Aqua satellite, May 9, 2023, in false colour.

Neither of these shots is very sharp, perhaps because of thin fog near the surface.

Here’s a matching image from May 4th. It’s nice and sharp, it might help you get oriented better, and it gives an idea of what an amazing amount of thaw happened in just five days.


MODIS image of Lake of the Woods from Terra satellite, May 4, 2023, in false colour.

Today’s satellite images also leave a question unanswered. What about Shoal Lake? It couldn’t be seen by either MODIS satellite today, but I expect we’ll find out in a day or two.

Meanwhile, in Kenora, the floating bridge to Coney Island was removed on schedule today, so the waterway is clear from downtown Kenora all the way through Devil’s Gap to Bigstone Bay and beyond.

That counts as a sign of spring, by the way.

The Kenora weather forecast is for highs of around 20ºC for the rest of this week, except for Saturday, because that’s a weekend, and so it will be cooler and rainy. Sunday looks better, though.



3 thoughts on “May 9, 2023: Warroad

  1. The satellite pictures are beautiful. I appreciate the updates and pictures. We can’t wait to get to our island near French Narrows.

    • French Narrows should be doable. I have no reports of ice in the north half of the lake. I’d better say this is not a guarantee: absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

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