Thursday, February 19, 2015

Great Lakes ice cover SURPASS 2014's almost-record year?

 I have put in some updates, scroll down...

How cold is it in your neck of the woods? Here. It's been another long cold winter!
Record setting cold- Piles of snow.
Check out the Great Lakes region-

Satellite photo from Feb. 18, showing the extensive ice cover on the Great Lakes.
As of yesterday the Great Lakes were 85.4 percent ice covered!
By Wednesday, the Great Lakes were 85.4 percent ice-covered, just above the 85.2 percent on Feb. 18 last year, according to the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. With below-average temperatures predicted for at least the next week, the lakes could approach last year’s levels of 92.5 percent ice cover, the second-highest level since records began in the early 1970s.
It’s far from the only factor in spring weather, but a heavy and late ice season can lead to a cooler spring—and even a cooler summer, forecasters say.
“By April or May, usually the ice is gone, usually probably anywhere from early to late April,” said George Leshkevitch, a scientist with the research laboratory. “Last year, we had ice throughout May, and even lingering into June. If that happens again, we’re likely to have a cool spring.
 Ice forecasts aren’t issued for the Great Lakes as a whole, but Leshkevitch said that the longer the current cold snap persists, the more likely the lakes are to continue icing over. Although the extreme cold—setting at least one record low on Thursday—is expected to break Friday, temperatures are forecast to remain about 20 degrees below normal through at least Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.
 Last year the Great Lakes froze up like this too!

Interesting too is that Lake Ontario is heavily ice covered

Frozen up: Lake Ontario saw near-record levels of ice form on Tuesday leaving just 20 per cent of open water
Ice is largely uncommon on Lake Ontario, which normally sees around 11 percent cover
Lake Ontario is very, very deep and holds onto it's heat- But, Lake Ontario had no heat to hold onto from 2014. That could have something to do with the fact that this area saw the coolest spring and summer in a very long time in 2014. So, there was no real opportunity for the lakes to get warm!

More on Lake Ontario- so readers can understand just why this much ice coverage is so unusual

The difference this year as compared to last year in ice coverage really lies in Lake Ontario. As one of the largest and deepest Great Lakes, the shear volume of water makes this lake very difficult to form major ice coverage.
 Even with the record-breaking winter of 2014, it struggled to form ice coverage throughout the brutal winter. This winter is radically different with over 75 percent of the lake covered in ice!

Lake Ontario Ice Coverage February 18, 2015 -
Lake Ontario Ice Coverage February 18, 2015 -75.5%

Lake Ontario Ice Coverage February 18, 2014 -
Lake Ontario Ice Coverage February 18, 2014 -27.1%
And I can attest to the fact that Winter of 2014 was record breaking, bone chilling cold
Other then a slight reprieve in December- This winter has been in it for the long haul

This blast of chillin' air is not just hovering over Canada. Or the normally temperate fruit belt/wine country area of  the Great Lakes region. Oh no! This cold is chillin' all the way down to normally balmy Florida- Where Snowbirds most often flock...

Arctic outbreak shatters records in eastern U.S., coldest yet to come

Records are falling along with the temperature across the eastern U.S. on Thursday, as the coldest air of the season surges south. Friday morning’s cold promises to be even more icy, taking aim at the Eastern Seaboard from Boston to Miami.
 When combined with winds, the cold outbreak will lead to dangerous wind chills on Thursday and Friday morning. Wind chill warnings and advisories stretch from the Upper Midwest to the Deep South on Thursday — even as far as Miami, where Friday morning lows around 40 degrees could break records for the date, and will surely be the coldest air that southern Florida has seen in five years.

We are going to get back too coldest February on record and Lake Ontario- the uniqueness of it's icy expanse-

Regarding Toronto which has the advantage of being a heat sink
"Toronto is right on track to experience the coldest February in recorded history"
And Lake Ontario, which is why I focused on this specific great lake originally in this post

"Another interesting point to address is Lake Ontario. Throughout recorded (and reliable) history, the lake has only completely frozen over once back in 1934. To put in perspective, last year the most coverage we saw was around 62%, while the Great Lakes as a whole reported 92% coverage.  
As we saw above Lake Ontario is more then 75.5 percent ice covered
 4,700 square miles of ice forms on Great Lakes IN ONE NIGHT
That night was the night of February 19th- where as I said, we broke a cold record in my southern Ontario city- It's February 20/2015 and the temperature, as I type, is minus 23 celsius or minus  10 Fahrenheit- I expect the  lake ice will grow again

Oh, and like last year Niagara Falls is just about frozen over
I can assure you this is an uncommon occurrence, at least in my lifetime. And here it is, frozen up for the second year in a row-  Perhaps I will go down and see this over the week end.


  1. The difference in what is usual to what is happening has been a substantially colder trend by 20 to 30 degrees- big difference

    Yesterday- Max: 5.5°F
    Min: -13.4°F

    Normals Max:34°F

  2. You are Canadian, why are you using Fahrenheit?

  3. Regarding the Canadian measles mum brouhaha -

    Pro Vaccine Campaign Exposed!

    Another story: The Guardian and Elliot Higgens (Belling Cat) up to some jiggery-pockery -

    1. I saw the Belling Cat site and of course the stink of Elliot Higgens was all over it- also the troll that came calling the other day Nils Nilsen or whatever his moniker was, from Kiev, that name was there also and I shocked I tell you, shocked! - NOt!

      But this belling cat site is supposed to be run by someone else, no?
      Some Finnish guy, allegedly?

    2. anonymous!

      thanks for the two video link and I knew it, I knew it!!!
      I dropped Dan Dicks a line at press for truth- Going to use his video and relink my previous post

      There were so many issues with her rant that just set my bullshit meter off- as in this woman was not what she had seemed and sure enough, she wasn't
      Talk about your conflict of interests- two of them
      She obviously ran the campaign to promote her own business and promote the family business- And she used her child like a prop, which is disgusting

  4. Had difficulties to understand Fahrenheit too. Would prefer the use of Celsius degrees

    1. Would prefer the use of Celsius degrees.

      Sounds like commie talk to me bub, here in northern Amerika (Canada) we do everything backwards. Like Hi we're from the Amerika and we're here to help. What this really means bomb you into the stone age. Then there this one. What you don't like being a refugee.

      I remember in the 60s Amerika was going to metrics but then corp. Amerika realized people could get there parts from anywhere in the world cutting into their control and profits. Greed

    2. Jo, I hope Luntmakaren realized your being facetious here or maybe there is a better word, for it, but, I know your just kidding around with that comment

    3. Hey jo
      I knew you were kidding- you've been around long enough for me to understand that your a decent fellow- not mean spirited at all
      but, not everyone else knows that. :)

      Plus your a fellow wine appreciator! A good 'jo' in my book
      btw; I have a nice Cab Sauv set aside for tonight from Washington State

  5. Is the use of Fahrenheit part of the North American Union integration?

  6. Sorry about that :(

    Canada didn't adopt metric by and large until the mid 70's
    I grew up & learned, in school, Imperial (British) measure, which is not the same as American measure, but the Fahrenheit is, of course.
    By time,Celsius (metric) kicked in here in Canada.. We got this quick introduction to it in Gr8 . I was already used to Fahrenheit- so, it didn't stick, not really

    In this part of Canada we still don't use straight metric,many stores still give us both lbs or kilos. (mom and pop stores and farmers market)

    Where my hubby works, many fabrication drawings, from engineers are still given in inches & feet- very rarely is metric used.

    It's likely the proximity to the US that also keeps the use of that system going
    To give you an example- when we tiled our kitchen floor the tiles came in
    16 x 16. That is 16 inches- I should say that's the size we chose
    There was also 12 x 12 and 12 x 24- Yet we bought the tiles in Canada!
    Not a metric measure in sight.
    So... I am stuck in the middle of two systems, but, when it comes to temp, I am more comfortable with F

    So I will convert the readings for the Celsius crowd

    Yesterday- Max: - 15C
    Min: - 25 C

    Our Normal or Usual Temp
    Normals Max: 1 C
    Min: - 7 C

    And thank you for your patience :)
    Hope that helps?

    1. My part of Calli sun and more sun. Farmers in the area didn't plant winter wheat this year because of the weather and they didn't know if they would get any water. They still don't know what the year will bring and I live in the oldest irrigation distract in Calif.

      I'm hoping the well has water through the year.

    2. Hi jo, I see that California is still suffering through the drought.
      And do hope you have well water, If it would help, you can have all the snow in my front yard and my street and my city and I am sure the east coast will part with it too
      And you know what- we are looking at more snow- I am not getting the amount the east coast is- but- it's so cold
      Just listening now and there were 70 cold records broken in the US
      My own city had record breaking cold for this morning

      The winters have been getting colder and longer, and noticeably so for the past 5 years now- as if it has accelerated
      I understand the ice on Lake Ontario expanded massively overnight
      Seriously Jo, this is freakin' me out

    3. Hey jo

      I was surprised how low the temps are! Somehow I thought it would be warmer? I See that your inland more. And more northerly Or at least that's how it looks from the map- I had family in Sacramento- but they have moved now. That said I would take that temp right about now!
      Thankfully we are having a brief reprieve on the weather right now- but it's going to be back to the deep freeze by Monday- sigh
      Everyone has cabin fever- this time of year-
      Because it's cold, everyone wants to stay in, me I go out no matter what!- snowshoeing- hiking etc

      I think and correct me if I am wrong the wine industry is mostly along the coast?

      Trivia time!
      Did you know that the infamous California grape
      Zinfandel- is the same as the Italian grape Primitivo

      And I can tell you- despite the negative press I have seen in the US concerning Primitivo wines, I have had some excellent Italian wines from that grape. And other Italian grapes too!

      And yes, I have had some California wine also
      And spanish wine
      And aussie wine, I am quite fond of Shiraz/Syrah
      If I didn't have a political/current events blog, I could easily have a wine blog