Everyone asks about snow levels, anticipated rains, and ice depths when they think about how much water will be in their destination’s lake when they arrive for their adventure. With Lake Superior’s water levels at all time lows, there is one other thing to add to the formula – “When did the lake freeze?”
Graham Saunders, professor of meteorology at Lakehead University here in Thunder Bay, and weather commentator for the Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal says that while “ice out” is interesting, “ice on” is more important. It seems that the earlier the ice forms on lakes, the more protection they have from evaporation, and it’s evaporation in the fall that robs area lakes of their water. With global warming, “ice on” keeps getting later and later.
His article- “A Slice of Ice” -appeared on Pg 7 in Superior Outdoors Magazine’s Winter 2008 Edition.