Well, it's sad to see the ice season ending but very exciting to see the fishing season beginning. According to the May 8 satellite picture, there is still ice on Buck. It’s in the main part of the lake between Bingwood and Crowded Point. The areas around the cabins are ice free and almost all surrounding lakes are ice free. Here’s a photo of Government Lake taken just last week:
The satellite pictures have been cloudy the last two days but the temperatures have been warm. Therefore, I am declaring ice out on Buck to be Wednesday, May 10. John and the gang should be able to safely arrive in camp late week and this weekend.
Ice out the last seven years:
2017 May 10
2016 May 6
2015 May 8
2014 May 26
2013 May 20
2012 April 7
2011 May 7
It's fun to watch and report on the anticipation of ice out. We'll do it again next year, but now, it's time to go fishing!
Before we look at the weather in Hornepayne, I found a little information on the web that talks about how ice melts. I found it interesting and thought I'd include it here. Since it's from the Internet, it has to be true!
A wonderful description of how lake ice melts away appeared on the web blog "Air Mass", hosted by the Star Tribune's Bill McAuliffe. Ed Swain, of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency describes the process of freezing and thawing lakes.
1. In the late fall, the lake loses heat to the atmosphere, and then on a day or night when the wind is not blowing, ice forms. The ice gets thicker as long as the lake can continue to lose heat.
2. In most Januaries and Februaries, snow both reflects sunlight and insulates the lake. With a thick snow layer, the lake neither gains nor loses heat. The bottom sediment is actually heating the lake water slightly over the winter, from stored summer heat.
3. Around March, as the air warms and the sun gets more intense, the snow melts, allowing light to penetrate the ice. Because the ice acts like the glass in a greenhouse, the water beneath it begins to warm, and the ice begins to melt FROM THE BOTTOM.
4. When the ice thickness erodes to between 4 and 12 inches, it transforms into long vertical crystals called "candles." These conduct light even better, so the ice starts to look black, because it is not reflecting much sunlight.
5. Warming continues because the light energy is being transferred to the water below the ice. Meltwater fills in between the crystals, which begin breaking apart. The surface appears grayish as the ice reflects a bit more light than before.
6. The wind comes up, and breaks the surface apart. The candles will often be blown to one side of the lake, making a tinkling sound as they knock against one another, and piling up on the shore. In hours, a sparkling blue lake, once again!
Hornepayne experienced above normal temperatures last week seeing temperatures in the 50F's on two days and at or above freezing the remaining days of the week. With temps above freezing, 4.3 millimeters (mm) of rain was able to fall.
The Great Lakes ice cover is down to 3.3% and falling so it will no longer be a factor in the melt.
The warm temperatures coupled with the rain were able to reduce the snow cover by about 23% from 31 down to 24 centimeters, or about 9.5 inches. 2016 recorded almost double the amount of snow at 44 centimeters on April 1. Here's the snow cover map showing the only snow in Michigan to be in the Upper Peninsula.
The Lake Superior satellite picture agrees showing some snow remaining in the UP. You can also see some lakes in the UP that are starting to reflect that gray color discussed earlier meaning that they are in the process of shedding their ice.
The Wawa Goose webcam shows that the snow in the region is starting to feel the effects of spring as it slowly starts to melt away!
Hornepayne's weather this coming week looks to have above average temperatures early, a brief return to average temperatures mid week, followed by another warm up next weekend. There are some indications that temps early the following week will make a run at the 60F level for the first time this spring. We'll see if that kind of warmth can get that far north. The European forecasting model is forecasting a lot of warmth during April over eastern North America, including Northwest Ontario. The forecast from Environment Canada, which uses the Canadian forecasting model, matches nicely. Here's the European for April, note that the temperature departures are in Celsius;
Speaking of Environment Canada, here's their forecast for the three months of April, May, and June. It shows another warm period throughout almost all of Canada.
I'll wrap this one up by saying that I believe that we are ahead of last year's melt when the ice went out at Buck on May 6. If the longer range forecasts verify, then we are still on track for a late April ice out. Time will tell and we'll be watching as it does!!
See you next week!!