Week of February 25th, 2018

Weekly Temperature
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Feb 25 Feb 26 Feb 27 Feb 28 Mar 1 Mar 2 Mar 3
High 10 5 14 13 4 1 -1
Low -1 1 0 5 0 0 -2

This week we had a lot of warm weather and lost a lot of snow. At least it was easy to walk down the beach because it was clear of snow and dry most days.

Sunday, February 25th, 2018 – it’s so nice too have a warm sunny day. Looking across the bay toward blue mountain.
Monday, February 26th, 2018 – taken from a rise on the beach near 13th street.
Monday, February 26, 2018 – intense rain last night. The day after, the “carve out” is obvious – water draining from Shore lane.
Tuesday, February 27th, 2018 – finally, the beach is open to walk on once more. firm sand with no snow.
Wednesday, February 27th, 2018 – The snowmobile trails are all but gone. I’m walking down the same path of crushed plants out of force of habit.
Thursday, February 28th, 2018. The beach is stripped clear by winds from the northwest. This pic taken just west of beach one.
Thursday, February 28th, 2018 – looking east toward Beach ONE – The snow is mostly melted on the boardwalk.
March 1, 2018 – I decided to walk west rather than east today. A landmark property at Wasaga beach. This picture taken at 30th street north.
March 2nd, 2018 – looking northeast across Georgian Bay from near beach 2,



Tracking Georgian Bay ice

Most of my posts involve pictures taken from the vantage point of the beach. I’m amazed how the ice changes daily, and I caution people about walking out on the ice. The more I see the daily changes in ice conditions, the more cautious I am myself during my daily walks.

To see what’s really going on, NASA provides a service called “EOSDIS Worldview”.

We went through a warming trend last week and I found the changes in the ice striking.

Below is the satellite view on February 13th. You can see that the bay is frozen. As a reminder of the weather, my daily posts for the week of February 11th here – they show that on Tuesday (Feb 13), the low was -12 C and we reached a high of -2 C.

Note the ice coverage on Georgian Bay. The Nottawasaga Bay is frozen to a distance from shore of ~ 5 miles. The east and north parts of the bay toward Parry Sound and Manitoulin Island are frozen solid.

Wasaga Beach ice coverage – Feb 13th

Just one day later, with warmer weather you see a massive change in the ice. We got all the way up to 8 C on Wednesday (February 14th) and this made a massive difference. Open water all around as you see from the satellite photography below.

Wasaga Beach Ice Coverage – February 14th, 2018

I hope this makes my point for those that take the time to study the data. The changes in a 24 hour period can be massive. Tens of miles of ice disappear overnight.

I don’t want to further embarrass the anonymous family I “dissed” for being out on the ice Sunday, Feb 18th, but as I post this Monday (Family Day in Ontario), the safe ice they thought they were walking on, is now open water days later.


Week of February 11th, 2018

Weekly Temperature
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Feb 11 Feb 12 Feb 13 Feb 14 Feb 15 Feb 16 Feb 17
High -3 -3 -2 8 8 -2 1
Low -8 -6 -12 2 2 -7 -8

This was a great February week – lots of snow and seasonable weather capped by snow squalls towards the end of the week.

Sunday, February 11th, 2018 – taken on the beach near 13th street. Deep snow and hard to walk down the beach today.
Sunday, February 11th, 2018 – Walking on the snowmobile tracks is the only game in town. The snow is too deep to walk on elsewhere. Looking west.
Sunday, February 11th, 2018 – I’ve always admired this home at 16th and Shore Lane. Right at a walk out to the beach. Hope the owner doesn’t mind me posting this picture.
Monday, February 12th, 2018 – Today was surreal. This picture looking straight out from the beach to the northwest. The lighting was such that I was “snow blind”. Everything was perfectly white. No shadows, and impossible to see any features. After a few blocks I gave up and retreated to walking down Shore Lane parallel to the beach. There was glare ice under two inches of fresh snow and it was just too treacherous to walk.
Monday, February 12th, 2018 – this picture taken just a few seconds after the previous picture looking east. Nice to see blue sky! This picture also shows the challenge seeing features in the snow. No shadows. I kept getting surprised by what was under the snow and tripping on things.
Tuesday, February 13th – Better today – the beach has been well travelled by snow machines. This picture taken east of 13th street at beach 2.
Tuesday, February 13th, 2018 – A buried picnic table near the boardwalk just west of Beach One
Tuesday, February 13th, 2018 – Looking west on a warm day from the beach one boardwalk
Tuesday, February 13th, 2018 – finally temperatures are above freezing. The snow is wet and easier to walk on. You can see open water in the distance looking toward Blue Mountain.
Friday, February 16th, 2018 – looking east toward Beach one during my daily walk. Another day of snow squalls.
Friday, February 16th, 2018 – Look northwest towards the bay. The ice is frozen as far as the eye can see (not very far!)
Friday, February 16, 2018 – looking across Georgian Bay from the beach near 13th street during a lull in the snow. Definitely more ice today.
Friday, February 16, 2018 -Looking north in the face of more snow.
Saturday, February 17, 2018 – I don’t mean to come off like somebody’s mother, but I was distressed to see people so far out on the ice today. This was taken with a telephoto lense while I stood on ice berms out from shore. This is supremely dangerous. I fear these people have no idea. You can see the open water in the distance. Yesterday the ice was frozen. South winds and warm temperatures are pushing kilometer scale chunks of ice to the north. There is no way these people can be saved if they fall through the ice. Please don’t even think about walking out on the ice like this. I watched them come in and I feel they dodged a bullet.
Saturday, February 17th, 2018 – Looking northwest from the boardwalk at Beach One toward Blue Mountain. I had a nice conversation with the folks you see out on the ice advising them not to go out past the berms. They were new to the area and thought the lake started past the berms until I explained how they are created by winds and wave action.
Saturday, February 17, 2018 – This is a first – a seriously good skater skating all the way from Beach 3 to Beach 1. After a few days of above freezing temperatures, parts of the beach are like a rink – wish I’d taken video. I’d be walking out where he is skating, but it is glare ice and hard to walk on.