Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lake Superior ice: It's out there

It's a howling lake wind here in Duluth today. What little ice we had out on the lake has been crushed onto the beach, which is a dark mass of compacted snow, sand and ice. Looking out into the teeth of the wind, I see no more ice. If you're on the Minnesota North Shore today, you might not see any ice either. The Grand Marais webcam is checking in ice-free.

The satellites see another picture:

All that red, with the strange letter combinations, is thick-ish ice in the middle of the lake. Lake Superior tried valiantly to freeze over this year and never quite made it. But big remnants of the ice pack are still out there.

I predict that if this northeast wind keeps up today we'll see the pack moving in. Then the real fun begins here on Park Point, with massive ice pile-ups out our back door.

One year, visitors to Park Point found ice for their Fourth of July lemonade down on the beach. It won't be that bad this year, but when it piles up, it tends to stay a while.

I don't really want this prediction to come true. I'd rather not have the backyard ice cooler going. But that is life on the shores of Lake Superior.


Dave Carlson said...

Thanks. As before, you have come up with links I haven't seen before.

Friday's quick dumping of almost four inches of heavy wet snow at Little Marais, and about 36 hours of nearly calm wind, was all the encouragement needed for thin pack ice to form, which we saw most of yesterday morning on the drive to Duluth.

This early Sunday morning, the surf sound woke me about 3AM. It's the fresh air fragrance you'd like to bottle to blow out the candles on your father's birthday cake (if you've seen that green commercial.

Blogging the North Shore said...

Thanks for the update. I was hoping to go last-chance skiing at Sugarbush in Tofte today, but I'm taking the last chance at Spirit Mountain (downhill) instead.

Anonymous said...

And with the prevailing Nor'Easterly gale and driving rain, and it the great cruel rain of the Deluge so it is, you'll be downhill skiing where?

Blogging the North Shore said...

As of this very moment, the ski season, downhill or otherwise, is OVER.

Anonymous said...


Well then, requiescat in pace, and do go gently into that long downhill, the ski season of '09.