May 8, 2018: More Good News!

I got pictures from two more co-workers. Tom Hutton and James Biesenthal were flying together, and they both took pictures.

First, the ones from Tom Hutton.

The classic Keewatin waterfront shot to get us started. No more ice in Safety Bay.

Here’s a closer look at Crowe Island, Anglican Island and Channel Island. They’re all clear, but there’s ice out past Thompson Island.

This third picture shows Gun Club Island in the left foreground, then Treaty Island and Roger’s look joined together by the low angle. That’s Town Island in the middle distance, left of center. Beyond it, by Nantons Island, there’s still ice.

Now some pictures from James Biesenthal. There’s some overlap with Tom’s pictures, but I’ve selected a few that offer a different view.

This is the Winnipeg River, looking south with Locke Bay spanning the frame in the background.

Further south, James photographed the west channel of the river, with Keewatin in the distance.

Then Darlington Bay with Keewatin in the center of the picture.

Then from over the Keewatin bridge, this shot of the cluster of islands that include Mackie’s, Cameron, Cross, Kalamalka, Gourlay and Yacht Club islands. Further right, Turnbull Island and Rheault Bay. You’d have to zoom in to see the distant ice on the Manitou.

The last shot is of Treaty Island, with Shragge’s to the right of center and Channel Island at the wingtip. More to the left are Rogers, Galt, and Town Islands. There’s still enough ice to block passage to Scotty Island, but it won’t last long.

Monday’s high was 28.3°C, but Tuesday was quite a bit cooler, reaching just 13°C. By Wednesday night, the Weather Network forecast says we’ll be dipping down to 1°C, and rising to just 9°C on Thursday. I don’t think it will matter much: for Lake Dwellers near Kenora, the lake will be navigable.

Although cool, Thursday should also be sunny, so the satellite photographs will show if there’s any ice remaining by then. Some ice may persist on the south part of the lake for a few days longer. Shoal Lake is going fast, so it might go at the same time Lake of the Woods this year.

In case you missed seeing the reports in the comments section, Clearwater Bay is open, West Hawk Lake is open, and down by Sioux Narrows,  Long Bay is open.

April 23, 2018: What a Weekend!

It was a warm weekend; at one point we hit 15.7°C, which I think is the first time we’ve seen an above normal temperature since sometime in March. It was also windy, which helps when it comes to melting ice.

At six o’clock this morning, I started my day by heading down to the ice road landing at the Kenora MNR.

This is what it looked like at dawn. The ice at the shoreline was so thin I easily punched through it with my hiking staff. I hear two trucks went through the ice this weekend, but I haven’t had time to look into when or where.

At eight o’clock, I made a hasty appearance at Q-104 to talk about the ice conditions and the effect the warm weather has had.

At nine o’clock, I flew north, and took some pictures on the way out of Kenora.

Airborne off runway 26 and heading west, this is downtown Kenora in the foreground. The picture is roughly centered on Coney Island, with Rat Portage Bay to the left. There is much more open water now, especially in Safety Bay, right of center.

Around two o’clock, we came home again.

This shot shows how much the Winnipeg River has opened up. The main channel has opened up north of the Dalles pretty much all the way through to Minaki.

The satellite images have been showing thin ice at the west end of Clearwater Bay.

Don’t forget you can click on this picture to see the larger, high resolution version, and you can zoom in on that for a better look at Ptarmigan Bay and the far end of Clearwater.

I also wanted to check out the water by the Keewatin Bridge.

There’s just a little rotten ice between Safety Bay and Keewatin Channel now.

Here’s the same area seen from the south as we turned towards the airport.

Looking north at the Keewatin and Norman waterfront. That’s Crowe Island on the wingtip, and I think that passage could be open tomorrow.  If things look a little odd to the right of Gun Club Island, it’s because one of our pesky propeller blades photo-bombed the shot.

All in all, an excellent amount of progress for one weekend. There’s been an encouraging change in the fourteen day forecast at The Weather Network. For next weekend, instead of highs of about 7°C, they’re now calling for 11° on Saturday and 17° on Sunday. I take this as a personal favour, because my sister is visiting from England. Before and after that, though, there’s still talk of below-normal temperatures, and I hate to tell you this, but the first days of May might bring a mix of rain and snow showers.

I hope all these swings will average out and leave us roughly on track.