Okay, this is going to be a long post, because several people sent me stuff.
But first, the week’s big news.
Ontario has gone back into lockdown, and this time it includes a stay-at-home order.
Here’s the wording from the alert that popped up on my phone:
A stay-at-home order is in effect. Only leave home for essential purposes such as food, health care, vaccines, exercise or work. It’s the law. Stay home, save lives.
And here’s a link to some more detailed information.
I have not found any specific wording about visiting summer residences in the new order. I have enquired, but it may take a while to get a response. The old rules from the previous lockdown were that you could: A) visit your camp for up to 24 hours to perform necessary maintenance, in which case you cannot be in contact with anyone, or B) isolate for 14 days, so you’d have to bring gas and food with you to last for for two weeks before you could go shopping.
It gets more complicated if you are visiting from Manitoba, as you might also have to isolate for 14 days upon your return, but I’ve been told this needn’t apply as long as you adhere to the Ontario requirements while here.
Here’s an excerpt from the Manitoba government website that was updated on April 8:
As per the public health order, 14 days of self-isolation is required for people returning or coming to Manitoba from all jurisdictions.
Now back to a more comfortable topic: the weather. The NASA satellites got good images on April 6, and then it turned cloudy until today.
Here’s what things looked like on Tuesday the 6th.
If you click on this image, you’ll see a version with some landmarks tagged.
Aqua satellite’s MODIS image from April 6, 2021, in false colour.
Today’s images haven’t been uploaded yet.
In the meantime, I have a picture from Devon Ostir, whose dock cam on Hare Island looks out on the Manitou.
With the exception of the satellite imagery, you can click on today’s pictures to see a full-screen version that is zoomable.
Next up, a drone shot of Keewatin Channel, courtesy of Paul Leischow.
I chose this specific shot from over Crowe Island because it shows that the water is open all the way to Keewatin. Actually, there’s a whole 360° panorama, and you can view it here if you want to scope out Rat Portage Bay or the Tangle from this vantage point.
Now photos from Josh Broten, and they are very revealing.
Over Buffalo Bay looking east to Garden Island.
Looking east at the big ice patch between Garden, Big, and Oak Island.
Over Windfall Island looking north between Falcon Island and the Western Peninsula.
Looking SW over Bishop Bay with Shoal Lake in the distance.
Over Skeet Island looking NNE.
Over Yellow Girl Point looking SE down Long Bay.
Aside from the huge stretches of open water, the key point is that all over the south end of the lake, the ice has separated from the shore. It’s still in enormous sheets, but it will start to break apart into pans soon.
Further north, where there are more islands and less vast stretches of water, the progress does not look as dramatic, but it’s following a similar path.
In case you missed it, regular commenter Stu Everett pointed out the other day that when current through the lake is slow in winter, the ice forms to a more even thickness all over the lake, and sets up a situation where the big slow-moving parts of the lake are melting almost as fast as the places that usually have more current.
Before I forget, special thanks to all the people who sent in pictures or messages today.
The first of today’s satellite images is available.
Terra satellite’s MODIS image for April 10, 2021, in false colour.
Pity about the cloud cover [low altitude cumulus clouds at the left, made of water vapour, high level cirrus clouds with more ice at the right] but you can see the same trend photographed by Josh.
UPDATE: Aqua’s image is up.
Aqua satellite’s MODIS image from April 10, 2021, in false colour.
Still some cloud, but it’s moved a little, revealing different parts of the lake.
The big question is: have we reached the tipping point? Once the ice breaks up, the end is very near, because wind action becomes a major factor. I think we’re almost there.
So naturally, the forecast is for some cool temperatures. The Weather Network has revised the fourteen day forecast since I last talked about it, and it now shows Monday as the coolest, with temps hovering around the freezing point all day. After that, daytime highs may run a little below normal for the next two weeks, while overnight lows are kind of 50/50.
Will the ice go? Your guess is as good as mine.