Saturday, April 25, 2015

Knockout punch is coming for Red Lake's ice

We just finished a cold week here in Northwestern Ontario but luckily areas on the west and south of the region, such as Red Lake, Kenora, Fort Frances, Dryden and Thunder Bay, got mostly rain and only a dusting of snow. Northern and eastern areas were not so fortunate. Places like Big Trout Lake and Pickle Lake were buried in up to 60 cm (two feet). Ouch!
But that is all history now. The stalled low pressure weather system that brought this unseasonal weather has now finally moved off and there is nothing but good times in sight.
Weather forecasters are predicting highs in the teens C (50-60 F) for the next two weeks. Also, in just a couple of days from now, overnight lows are not supposed to go below freezing. And bright sunshine is forecast almost every day.
This should absolutely ruin the remaining ice on area lakes. That ice is only a foot or so in thickness or about one-third of what it was last winter. So there isn't much left to melt.
The lack of fresh snow means the ice will quickly turn black and absorb the sun's heat.
Incidentally, the length of daylight here is now about 16 hours. It starts getting light at 6 a.m. and is still light until 10 p.m.
I think we are still on track for the 2015 ice-out to occur the first week of May for most Northwestern Ontario lakes and around May 8 for Red Lake which is deeper than other lakes. A factor that could hasten the process is wind. No strong winds are currently in the forecast but if any do appear, they will multiply the ice destruction force, particularly toward the end. Once the ice has melted around the edges of a lake, a strong wind can make the entire sheet start to move. The momentum of the ice sheet is incredible and will smash the remaining ice against the shore. It is possible for a lake, even big ones like Red Lake, to see its entire surface clear in just a day or two under such circumstances.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you and your staff will be getting into camp early this spring. I checked the 7 day forecast and I seen a couple of 19 degree temps in there. Very warm! See you in a few weeks!
Indiana Dave