Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Ice Conditions in NWO April 21, 2014

As we approach opening weekend, those that are anxiously waiting to make their annual trip to Northwestern Ontario are wanting to know what the ice conditions are like. Remembering the late spring we had last year and looking back on the brutal winter we had this year, many people are nervous that the ice is going to hang on again.

All we can do is keep you informed on the present conditions and let you know how things are looking. Here is the inside scoop on the ice conditions as it sits April 21, 2014.

Over the weekend, my Dad and I got a good look at the ice conditions as we flew about 140 miles North, from Vermilion Bay to Kapikik Lake (near Cat Lake). We flew there on Sunday and back home on Monday, giving us a good look at lots of lakes in the area and at the different stages of melting. The snow has melted from the surface of the ice, many lakes are turning brown, and some even have open water.

The difference between the ice on Sunday morning and the ice on Monday morning was noticeable. Sunday was very warm and sunny. Yesterday (Tuesday) was also very warm and sunny, so I can only imagine that there is a noticeable change again in the ice conditions.

The brown ice that we see is caused by large amounts of runoff going onto the lakes and this type of ice will erode quickly if we see temperatures of +10 degrees Celcius or higher. The open water (mostly seen on Lac Seul), is also caused by runoff, but also from a current that runs through the lake. Every year, the the water level drops around this time, which causes current and causes the narrows to open up. Having said that, compared to previous years there is far more open area this spring on Lac Seul.

Will the ice be out by opening weekend? This is something we still cannot predict. We are on schedule IF we see lots of days with temperatures reaching the double-digits (Celsius). As I had mentioned before, today will be a good day for melting, but cooler temperatures are expected throughout the rest of the week.

You can keep an eye on our weather by visiting this link:

And as I said before in previous blog entries, my Dad and Chris will be the last ones flying on skis in the area so we will be able to give our readers very accurate reports of the ice conditions and the weather. You can expect lots more reports and pictures in the near future.

Check out the pictures below.

- Meagan

Lac Seul, Near McKenzie Bay
Lac Seul, West Side of McKenzie Bay
Lac Seul, West Side of McKenzie Bay
Brown Ice on a Lake North of Lac Seul
Lac Seul, Looking East
Perrault Lake
Clay Lake

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