Yes, it has been a bit crazy with the weather. We had some cold after the 1st but then it has been normal January temperatures. This past weekend it wasn’t normal, it was warm and then it rained 1.5 inches with strong winds both east and then northwest. This has made some pretty amazing ice related things to see, not the least of them lots of open water. Be careful if you venture out, some places are starting from scratch while others have three or four inches to start with.
Arriving at the lake, Townsend Brook had spewed water and broken ice pieces onto the lake surface. Some had been left near shore but others had traveled a long way across the lake.
But there were also some of these pieces that had been pushed by the wind out into the middle of the lake a few hundred yards off shore. They were blown on the water covered ice which doesn’t provide much friction. These icebergs are now, probably, permanent fixtures on the lake until the Spring.
The rain made the ice a lot smoother and the reflections of the sky on the ice were pretty spectacular. It is a great skating surface but the thickness of the ice is questionable at the moment. With some parts of the lake ice free, you don’t know where it is frozen enough to support you.
Right now, there is a huge area of the lake that is free of ice. There was a “lead” or unfrozen section, to the northeast of Brummitt before the rainstorm. This must have allowed the wind to make waves and break the ice around it and ultimately it allowed a huge break-up of the ice. This hypothesis may not be correct but there is presently open water from Triggs to Brummitt and north to the Turtle Island shore. If this freezes before a snowstorm, it won’t be as thick as the other ice so it will be a huge area where people can really get into trouble. There will be a huge difference in ice thickness for a long time. You could be safe in one place and not in the other. Other places around the lake have also produced open water. If you go out on the lake, be careful, you could be in for a cold swim.