Winter Is Still Hanging On

It is almost Spring but Winter doesn’t seem to want to give up. On the 18th, there was a report of 18 inches of ice in places but realize that other places have open water. We had cold and then snow and then wind. Spring will come sooner or later.

There were a few warm days before the cold and it was actually possible to sit on the beach and read in the sun. Not so anymore…….

In a previous post, you could see open water between the mainland and Brummitt Island but it refroze in the cold and wind before the snow came. It is not the kind of ice that you want to walk on and with the new snow on it, you would never know how thin it is.

The cold weather before the snow froze most things solid and because there had been rain and melting, a few ice boats got out on the lake. The west end of the lake seemed to have rougher ice so the boats were flying back and forth on the northeast part of the lake. The wind was strong and they were using small sails but they were still flying.

The great snow on Tuesday the 14th brought lots of changes. North of Wolfeboro, in the Bald Peak area, many trees were uprooted and power was lost in lots of places. Many parts of 109 and 109a were closed and it was only Friday that some of the roads were back open again. The Lake Wentworth area was spared of these winds although 16 inches of snow were measured in places out of the wind. In windy areas, there were either drifts or almost bare ground. The wind was gusting in the 40 mph range so the snow crystals were broken apart making the snow very dense. Places in upstate New York got over 30 inches of snow and it was light and fluffy. We probably got about the same water content in our snow but half the depth. However, we now have drifts along the shores instead of bare beach.

At the same time, the warm weather opened up an area around Cate Island and the sand bar on Stamp Act (which often has open water when other places are frozen). Even the cold winds didn’t freeze that area and now there is open water around most of the island. When the water is exposed to the winds, it moves or causes a current. The moving water has to be replaced and water from under the ice is brought to the surface. That water is around 40 degrees F. so it doesn’t immediately freeze. With some strong March sun and continued wind, the area keeps getting larger.

With regard to ice out, there are two forces battling. One is the 18 inches of ice with snow on top of it to reflect the sun’s rays, and then places with open water like around Cate Island. When will be battle be over and the lake will be free of ice?