Saturday, November 30, 2013

Nov 30, 2013

Lake Wicwas is frozen! 
Ice in:  29 November 2013
The cold night on Thanksgiving did the trick, with a solid layer of ice across the entire lake on Friday morning. Most of the surface is smooth, with only a few rough areas that froze up in windy conditions.  If this holds, it will tie a record for the earliest ice-in that I have seen.

The ice was not even an inch thick, but it was crystal clear and sturdy enough to bear my weight (a foot from shore that is). 

Standing on it, I could see the ice flex, pressing down into the lake and pushing water up over the surface from gaps along the shore line.  On Friday night the temperature dropped into the single digits (the average low for today is 22 degrees) and the ice was already cracking loudly enough to wake me up in the night.  The dam is drawing water out rapidly from the lake, so the level is dropping which likely adds to the stress on the ice.

I woke up to ice also forming on the porch windows.

These ice formations on the glass always intrigue me, with their widely varying designs. 

Sometimes they form sharp, dagger-like shapes, while in close proximity there can be smooth, curling shapes.

But they are always fascinating.

After the cold night and continued below-freezing temperatures during the day, the ice had increased to two inches thick by Saturday noon - I stepped out far enough to cut a hole. 

A few chips of wood had blown out onto the ice, and it appears the water they absorbed during last week's rain was being extracted by the cold, forming even more fantastic ice crystals shooting out of the porous wood.
Ice Crystals on Wood Chips

I think Lake Wicwas may be frozen over now right into spring, as it would take a pretty long stretch of warm weather to thaw out two inches of ice with no open areas to let the wind and waves participate.  Only time will tell.  But with a little luck from the weather, maybe we'll get some skating over the next few weeks.

No comments:

Post a Comment