Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Beautiful weather up here but still lots of ice!

The weather has been spectacular lately. With all the sunny days, you'd think that the ice would be disappearing at a rapid rate. Unfortunately, at least for early season paddlers and spring anglers, this is not the case. Night-time temperatures are still well below freezing and the recent snow has made a nice reflective layer on top of the ice. Consequently, there has been much less ice-out progress than you would expect. 

Having said that, rivers have created big leads into some lakes so there is movement. What we really need now is some wind and rain to get things broken up. 

All this clear weather has made for some excellent satellite photos on the Coastwatch web site. Click the link and select the best looking recent thumbnail image (ie. the one with the least cloud cover). That will open in your browser window, putting you somewhere west of Thunder Bay. Scroll over and down until you recognize landforms like Manitoulin Island and the Bruce Peninsula. Scroll right (eastwards) from there and you should be able to recognize bigger Algonquin Park lakes such as Opeongo, Cedar and Lavielle. Notice how white and frozen they are! These images are updated daily so watch for progress. While you're at it, look at Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie and the crazy patterns in the water caused (I presume) by silt.

The Canoe Lake Ice-Out Contest page has some recent pictures of a very frozen-looking Canoe Lake and a link to an Algonquin Park page discussing the history of ice-out on Lake Opeongo. Algonquin Park staff have started their spring ice and road conditions report. This is especially interesting to anyone planning an early trip to some of the more remote access points. Stay tuned to this blog for more pictures - we're going into the park tomorrow!

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