Since the last post, there has been weather. Yes, it is New England. Cold, rain, freezing rain, melting and now cold.Last week was cold but as often is the case, a warm front moved in and the air aloft was above freezing so the stuff that fell out of the higher clouds as snow, melted. It then hit a layer of cold air but didn’t freeze until it hit the ground or, in this case, snow. This made another layer of glaze on top of the couple inches of snow that was on a thick glaze layer by Sunday morning. If you were in a place where avalanches might occur, this was not ideal conditions for “stable” snow. After this glaze formed, the temperature rose and it rained from early morning through the afternoon, off and on. Not very nice, cold rain but little wind. One interesting thing was that because there had been a glaze on the snow, the rain now ran off roofs or pooled on top of the glaze, it didn’t sink into the snow. Monday was warm and it actually was good XC skiing although a bit sloppy. Last night it all froze and below freezing temperatures are forecast for a week or so with no snow in the forecast.
So, what did this do for the lake? On Saturday, someone made a trek out to the Sister Islands, drilling holes on the way and felt safe enough to be on the ice although there was a slush layer in places. If there was a layer of snow on the ice, slush was often found under the snow where it insulated the water from freezing. Sunday, with the rain, the lake was soggy and Monday, it was soggy, too. When you looked at the lake 50% seemed to be “snow ice” and the rest was gray ice with water on it with water on top at the stream inlets. Today, 99% of the lake was gray and icy and it seems like the slush layers have gone. Now, the lake is pretty well frozen. (If you go out, be careful, take rescue gear such as screw drivers to get yourself out and remember that there are always places in the lake that don’t freeze well because of springs or whatever.) It may be that ice boats start sailing and it is a different lake.