Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ice Cover on the Great Lakes

On January 5th of this year, when the Great Lakes ice cover stood at just over 22.7 percent, we made an early call. "Epic freeze coming for the Great Lakes," we said, continuing, "Lake Erie, with its shallow waters, is virtually certain to freeze over this winter. Lake Michigan may be headed for 90 percent plus ice coverage."

We pretty much nailed it. For the winter season, the Great Lakes peaked at 92.2 percent ice coverage in early March, setting a record for that month and achieving the second highest coverage recorded for any date in the modern era of satellite observation. Lake Michigan's ice coverage peaked at 93.3 percent. Lake Erie got up to 96.4 percent. Gale force winds that broke up, pushed and stacked ice floes one on top of the other, were the only thing that stood between Great Lakes waters and record ice coverage in each of the lakes.

Around Buffalo, people are
opening garages to this!
We frequently small talk about the weather, because it is a relevant and (at least formerly) a noncontroversial topic. So we engaged in discussion at the swim center earlier this week with a gentleman originally from Buffalo, New York, about the six, seven and eight feet of lake effect snow the locals in various locations around the eastern city are being buried by this week. Later on in the winter, the ice coverage on Lake Erie will moderate the lake effect, which is why snowfall in Buffalo usually peaks early in the season. 

This got me thinking about this year's Great Lakes ice coverage
so I thought to go to the U.S. government maintained website on Great Lakes ice coverage. Here is what we got.

Great Lakes Ice Cover
See also 60-day GLSEA SST/Ice animation
ncast/lice-00.gif does not exist

Oh, I get it. November, climate change, global warming and all that -- it is too early for the loyal government boys in red, white and blue, there can't be any ice yet, could there be? Drats, no data!

But then, a tune crept into my head, starting out something like this, "O ....",

Our friends to the north I thought, they would be more intrepid and on top of things, eh?

Sure enough. Here, courtesy of the Canadian Ice Service, is their November 20 western Great Lakes ice map.

There is freezing in Green Bay, up in the northeast corner of lake Michigan. The same goes for east of Thunder Bay along the north shore of Lake Superior. Floes are drifting along most of Lake Superior's shores, and on the extreme north end of Lake Michigan as well.

There is some early season ice in the eastern Great Lakes too.

Ice floes are sloshing along the northern shore of Lake Huron. Ice fields are forming in Saginaw Bay.

So we can see how this year compares to others, our Canadian friends give us regularly updated graphic histories.

For the week ended November 19, this year has the second highest ice concentration in the recorded 35 year history. This is the only the third year out of the 35 that there has been any ice coverage at all this early in the season -- auspicious one could say if one were an ice fisherman. 

Looking ahead, there is one thing we can forecast this year almost for sure -- the "scientists" won't publish projections for the Great Lakes ice cover this winter (or alternatively, will supply a range so broad as to be useless). Having been embarrassed by their low ball 62 percent forecast last year, this year they will no doubt support the "climate change" scam by applying their global warming theories to less verifiable metrics. After all, they are "scientists," right?

Have a good day and good luck to all.

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