Mar 22-08

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2008: March: Mar 22-08
Big Picture of the Big Lake    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo courtesy of NOAA

Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Saturday, March 22, 2008 - 06:58 am:

One of my favorite Internet stops is George Hite's Eagle Harbor Web, to catch up on the news of our neighbors 8 miles to the north (or is it east?). Earlier this week George posted this awesome entire view of Lake Superior as seen by the NOAA eye in the sky. As you can see, our coast line is still socked with ice in many places. But the Lake didn't come close to freezing over, as we reported last month how it did in February 1872. That's when a party of 20 Englishmen walked across Lake Superior from the Thunder Bay side, with a stopover at Isle Royale, as noted in Karl Bonak's book, "So Cold a Sky", which we mentioned on the February 20th "Day in History".

Speaking of our daily historical excursion, I found it fascinating that the drought was so bad on this day in 1903 that Niagra Falls actually stopped running! You would think with all the water in today's picture, that could never happen. But keep in mind that from here to Lake Ontario there's a drop of over 350 feet.

Hope you have a nice Easter Weekend :o)

By Renee in AL (Renee) on Saturday, March 22, 2008 - 07:28 am:

WOW! Neat picture!! I love these kinds of shots.
Was 1872 the last time Lake Superior totally froze over? If not, does anyone know when that was??
I hope everyone has a very nice Easter weekend and Happy Spring!
Best wishes,
Renee in AL

By Jeff Kalember (Jeffkal) on Saturday, March 22, 2008 - 07:39 am:

great pic!! read Karl Bohnak's book cover to cover, not so much for the weather info but for the historical information on the UP. Great stories of how tough those early Yoopers were - Bishop Baraga's travel stories are just mind boggling.

By osceola brulla (Sonofbrulla) on Saturday, March 22, 2008 - 08:41 am:

hello everyone , wow charlie sure does a great job here the big lake looks cool and the day in history video has my cousins sandstone castle house in it and you can see walters house also on willow st laurium see you all later

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Saturday, March 22, 2008 - 09:10 am:

Another great picture to start the day. No matter the view, that lake is spectacular.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Saturday, March 22, 2008 - 10:13 am:

Was 1872 the last time Lake Superior totally froze over?

No. The last time Lake Superior froze completely over was 1997 accroding to the US Coast Guard. However, the Canadians claim that in 2003, the Lake completely froze over for a couple days in February before it began to melt.

By Renee in AL (Renee) on Saturday, March 22, 2008 - 11:14 am:

Thanks Capt. Paul! Can always count on you for an answer! :-)
Best wishes,

By JH (Thumbgardener) on Saturday, March 22, 2008 - 11:15 am:

When I first came to this site this morning I thought that was a road kill frozen on an ice covered road.

By Margaret, Amarillo TX (Margaret) on Saturday, March 22, 2008 - 11:16 am:

Thanks for the info. Not like I'm going to take the dog sled across anytime soon. Sometimes having a team made up of miniture poodles and minpins just makes the idea impossible.

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Saturday, March 22, 2008 - 12:03 pm:

(Ooops, deleted by author.)

By Tom (Tom) on Saturday, March 22, 2008 - 12:30 pm:

Do you notice in that picture where the ice is located? The winds must push the ice eastward and it collects along the shoreline of the Keweenaw and the far eastern end of the lake. Near the Soo.
Nice shot. Looking at the distance from Copper Harbor to Isle Royale makes me thing of how sea sick I was on a return trip from the island not too many years ago. Very huge waves and one sick passenger.

By Tim Holland (Tholland) on Saturday, March 22, 2008 - 12:34 pm:

The difference in these photos since Neil Harri installed a turbocharger on his airplane are incredible. Every time he lands with camera in hand he must utter "One small step for man..."

Happy Easter to all in Pastyland!

By Toivo from Toivola (Toivo) on Saturday, March 22, 2008 - 01:03 pm:

Surely Neil didn't hafta peddle on his way back down!

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Saturday, March 22, 2008 - 02:02 pm:

Ooops, deleted by author (again)!
Hmmm where are those specs hiding for uploading images (pixels and file size)?

By Bob Jewell, Farmington Hills (Rjewell) on Saturday, March 22, 2008 - 02:06 pm:

This picture sure doesn't agree with the National Ice Center March 22 chart of ice cover.
Ice Cover

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Saturday, March 22, 2008 - 02:18 pm:

Bob Jewell, Farmington Hills (Rjewell):

Thanks, Bob, that's where I was going as well, just thought I'd post the picture(s) themselves instead of a link. But that's actually the March 20th ice cover chart. (Picky, picky!)

For what it's worth, since the NOAA Satellite Photo of Lake Superior from George Hite's Eagle Harbor Web was dated March 16th, the same could be said for these:

March 13th Ice Cover

March 18th Ice Cover

All three Ice Cover Charts appear to show that anywhere southwest of a line from the tip of the Keweenaw to the north end of Isle Royale (approximately) has at least some (< 2 in.) of ice.

So what do we make of the apparent difference? Perhaps the satellite has difficulty seeing "< 2 inches" of ice?

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Saturday, March 22, 2008 - 03:11 pm:

I would say the satellite has issues with anything less than 6 inches of ice if you compare the above sat image to the March 18 ice chart. Bear in mind however, that the ice chart is only an estimate of the actual ice cover. As we know, things can change mighty quickly on the big Lake especially if a breeze kicks up and opens a little patch of water. Eventually, that little patch can become a big patch and then the entire Lake.......

Also keep in mind that if the ice is crystal clear as Lake Superior ice tends to be, the satellite would see clean through the ice to the water, not even noticing 6 inches of coverage.

By Bob Jewell, Farmington Hills (Rjewell) on Saturday, March 22, 2008 - 03:25 pm:

I'm begining to think that "<2 inches" means "0".
The satellite also seems to be having trouble seing "12 to 28" inches of ice in many places.
Based on what I see on the Granite Island webcams I think the National Ice Center's estimate is just like most of the other estimates that come out of Washington before the election.

By Toivo from Toivola (Toivo) on Saturday, March 22, 2008 - 04:13 pm:

I second that motion. Here here. The estimates are based on the satellite pictures in part, and the guys doing the estimating have probably never rode on a snowmobile a hundred yards from shore. We could probably come up with some better estimates. Anybody up for a ride?

By Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Saturday, March 22, 2008 - 04:25 pm:

Somebody already beat you to it, Toivo. Neil Harri sent me this shot taken by his fishing buddy Brad Johnson. Neil just wanted everyone to know he sticks closer to the ice than some of today's comments might suggest:


Ken ja Mimi from da UP (Kenjamimi) on Saturday, March 22, 2008 - 10:25 pm:

Looks like Neil's keeping the engine warm while he's fishing for dinner, 'eh? A good idea. Back in the late 50s a few of us 'kids' walked out on the ice from Calumet Watersorks. A bright sunny day, we must've walked out about three miles. What a noisy place. Klunks and groans from the ice. When we heard a crack go from east to way west, we headed back. We were cautious, not chicken! :o)

By Ken ja Mimi from da UP (Kenjamimi) on Saturday, March 22, 2008 - 10:28 pm:

Calumet Watersorks? :o) Waterworks.

By Tim Holland (Tholland) on Sunday, March 23, 2008 - 01:45 am:

Very brilliant picture with good contrast. Is he getting ready to ice fish or patiently waiting for the Coast Guard to arrive?

By Mel, MN (Mehollop) on Monday, March 24, 2008 - 07:41 am:

Capt Paul - I'd like to second that notion that it froze over all the way in 2003 as well. That February sure was a cold one in Houghton - especially when our car broke down and we had to do an alternator change in the parking lot of our apartment. Brr!

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