Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Beautiful spring melt is happening

Northwestern Ontario is experiencing a beautiful spring. We've had some really warm days and even some nights above freezing but mostly the temperatures are around the seasonal normals which are about 8 to 10 C in the days and -2 to -5 C at night. This has led to a very controlled spring melt instead of the flooding that can occur if it gets too warm too fast.
Rivers and creeks are free of ice and small lakes are melted around the edge. There is lots of ice yet on the big lakes but there are large black spots on the surface that absorb all the sunlight we have been getting. This makes the ice melt all the faster.
We have been blessed to have not gotten any snow or even significant rain at all for nearly a month. The frost has gone out of the ground in the open and things are drying up nicely. The snow is gone from all but the shadiest spots. We've also had a lot of windy days which are good both for drying but also for opening up lakes. The wind pushes down on the ice in big open areas and this squishes the water under the ice into bays on the side. When the wind drops the water rushes back out of the bays again. This back and forth current wears the ice away in the bay mouths. These are always the first to be clear and their patches of open water absorb the sun's heat and help warm the lake.
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