Here’s a sign of spring. Karen Lorek, while traveling in southern Illinois, photographed these large flocks of geese flying north over the weekend Photo courtesy of Karen Lorek, In southern Illinois
Great Lakes ice coverage has reached the 2nd high level of coverage in the terms of records dating back to 1979 at 92.2% late last week. Current ice coverage is 91% of the Great Lakes. The Coast Guard was busy on Lake Erie take ice depth measurements for NOAA’s Great Lake Environmental Research Laboratory. Photo courtesy of Ptty Officer 3rd Class Scott Gendron, Lake Erie
Coast Guardsmen sampled ice depths at 20 locations and found depths ranging from 3″ to as much as 3 feet.
Photo courtesy of U.s. Coast Guard, On Lake Erie
Here you can see a hole being drilled in the ice to determine its depth.
These Coast Guardsmen know what they’re doing–they’re harnessed and have a helicopter nearby monitored their every move. Their mission is to collect necessary data for scientists monitoring Great Lake Ice. Going out onto the ice should NEVER be attempted by folks who aren’t trained for this. NEVER!! People die doing it. You can break through the ice and been gone in an instant. My colleagues at the Tribune reported the Chicago Fire Department has reponded to 62% more calls this year than last because people have slipped into the ice getting too close to the water or foolishly venturing out on the ice. Photo courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard, Lake Erie
While talking about ice–look at these huge ice chunks on Covel Creek at Tr. 71 just west of Oswego. Ken Murphy sends us this photo and says these ice chunks are so powerful they have scoured large boulders and tree stumps which are mixed in with the ice there. Photo courtesy of Ken Murphy, Covel Creek near Ottawa, IL
Jeff Minarik from Darien sends us this odd looking hole in the clouds and asks what’s going on here. Well if you look, you see higher clouds from which ice crystals are falling through the hole in the clouds. Air appears to be sinking as the ice crystals fall out of the cloud deck above. As this air descends, it warms and warming leads to dissipation of the water droplet comprising the mid-level cloud deck below within which the hole has appeared. There’s a lot going on there. What a fascinating shot!. Photo courtesy of Jeff Minarik, Darien, IL