Wednesday, February 3, 2010

It's FREEZING here!



It's February on the North Shore. While all the other lakes in Minnesota froze over in December, big deep Lake Superior had stayed open. For one below-zero morning after another, sea smoke rose from the open water.



In the last few days, winter cold finally has the lake in its grasp. What was open water two days ago off Duluth is now a vast field of ice. The satellite maps are showing a ring of ice 20 miles wide around the entire coast.

The good news is, the ice is beautiful. A few more cold days, and ice anglers will take the first tentative steps out, followed by skiers and skaters.

The bad news is, this will cut off lake-effect snow on both the south and north shores. No open water means no evaporation, and no evaporation means no piles of yummy snow.

This morning, the vast ice sheet was not quite frozen in place. Waves from somewhere far away were still moving the ice and grinding it quite slowly against the shore.

But it was freezing.

Even the poodle, normally frenetic when she's offleash on the beach, froze for a moment:



It gives me a kick to see how big deep Lake Superior fights off the freeze for all those months. But nature eventually wins, and the lake begins to freeze.

5 comments:

upwoods said...

This looks SO familiar! And to think we're across Lake Superior from one another... And so you LIKE lake effect snow? Laughing. I was just telling my husband that I was enjoying these last few snow-less days. He said he thought it was getting a little boring! As for famous...don't know about that...we'll see who actually comes back to visit Lake Superior Spirit more than once! Nice to meet you.

Andrew Slade said...

I wonder how many other folks are out there blogging away about Lake Superior, wondering if anyone actually reads their stuff!

Bayfieldwis.com said...

There are alot of readers believe me! We all love Lake Superior frozen or not. Last time it completely froze over was the nasty winter of 1978-79 if my memory is correct? And I do recall it being on the news. I must be old?

Bryan Hansel said...

I don't know what kind of sea smoke NOAA is smoking for their satellite maps, but we haven't had any ice along the shore yet in Grand Marais. Probably won't see ice until the last week of Feb.

@bayfieldwis.com - It froze over 95-95 & 02-03. I can't remember if last winter qualified or not, but at one point it was close.

Andrew Slade said...

Bryan, Funny! I think they were believing their own predictions, which had called for a band of ice 10 miles thick.

I remember in 2003 when they announced the lake had frozen over, and the North Shore had open water as far as you could see from the shore. NW winds really clear out the ice.