How Lake Ice Melts

After this unusually cold winter and blizzards the past couple weekends, I think we’re all ready for the ice to come off the lakes! The last couple weeks we’ve been in that in-between time when we can’t start boating on the lakes because the ice is still on them, but the ice isn’t safe to walk on anymore. [Read more…]

When and how do lakes freeze over?

Now that it’s too cold to swim in our lakes, we can look forward to the next great lake season – winter sports! Bring on the cold and snow so we can ski, skate, snowshoe, ice fish and snowmobile.

This week, I noticed that some small ponds have a thin layer of ice on them. This prompted me to think abolakeiceut when and how our lakes freeze over in this area.

As you all know, water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. That doesn’t mean, however, when the air temp reaches 32 the lakes freeze. Water is a great insulator and good at holding heat, which is why the lake temperature doesn’t fluctuate much day to day like the air does. Therefore, below freezing temperatures are needed for a week or more to form ice on a large lake.

As I have mentioned before, water is a unique substance in that the solid form (ice) is lighter than the liquid form (water). For most substances, the solid form is heavier. Our lives would be much different if ice sank instead of floated. If ice sank, lakes would freeze from the bottom up and the fish and other aquatic creatures wouldn’t survive the winter! [Read more…]