Monday, April 19, 2010

Red Lake,Ontario now mostly clear of ice

Enid Carlson photo
Enid Carlson of Viking Outposts and Viking Island Lodge sent me this photo of Bow Narrows Camp taken late Sunday afternoon, April 18. The entire area is ice-free.

Enid and Hugh Carlson flew in one of their aircraft from the Chukuni River over the lake to check out the ice conditions. On their return trip they were able to land right in Howey Bay where the town is located and Hugh was able to tie up to his dock.

Hugh said the lake from town west to Bow Narrows Camp is nearly clear of ice except for the area known as the Stretch, right off the Forestry Point. Here there is still ice shore-to-shore.

But the ice is mostly just mush. Any wind at all would clear it out in hours.

Unfortunately there has been virtually no wind for the last few days and none is in the forecast.

So the ice is just melting on the spot. That takes longer than when the wind drives the ice sheet and crushes it upon the shore and itself.

Even without the wind it seems likely the ice will be gone from the Stretch and in Howey Bay, which is still partly covered, within a day or two. Temperatures are expected to be near 20 C as they have been the last couple of days.

It will be interesting to see what date is picked for the official ice-out date. This has always been controversial. Is it the day the ice is broken up from Howey Bay or is it when the ice is totally gone? Those dates can be several days apart.

I suspect that since Hugh and Enid were able to land their Cessna in Howey Bay on April 18, most people will count that event as the official ice-out date. If so, ice-out on 2010 will have set a record. The previous record was April 20 and the average ice-out date is May 8.

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