Break-up Watch 2010 - March 30

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Satellite image of ice break-up on Lake Temagami, 2010


March 31, 2010 Everything about this winter has been unusual:  record (or near-record) late freeze-up, rare flaky ice, mild winter, and little snow. Now we appear headed to an early break-up.

The Bear Island ice road closed 12 days ago, almost two weeks ahead of the annual schedule.

"What is now happening," Bear Island resident Bob Farr wrote in an email over the weekend, "is that there are numerous heaved-up pressure cracks all over the lake. They heave in the afternoon and pull back in the colder nightime. This will certainly speed up the break-up of the ice this year."

Many people have stopped using snowmachines on Lake Temagami.

"It is not even the end of March!" wrote Farr.

The Temagami First Nation's new airboat has started operating and is changing the meaning and impact of break-up for the residents. The tradition of a multi-week upheaval has ended.

The water level is down a couple of feet on Lake Temagami because the dam was opened, as it is every winter, months ago to lower the water level to compensate for spring melt. But there has been too little snow this winter to have brought it back up.

Other areas in Temagami are experiencing unseasonably low water as photos on the forum reveal.



  Posted Wed Mar 31, 2010                   Photos: NASA/NOAA  

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