Thanksgiving Chikawaukee Ice Report

20 F. this AM, 5/16 in. of ice in grass at lake edge with water underneath at 36 F. A short canoe ride out to deeper water found 40 F. at hockey stick depth, this is seasonally appropriate. In the fall “overturn” the water cools to 40 F. when it is at its heaviest and it sinks to the bottom displacing warmer or colder water to the surface. The colder surface water waits until it gets to 32 or colder which is why the lake does not freeze from the bottom up, awkward for sailors and skaters.

Tolman Pond on Rte 90 is our surrogate for Plymouth Pond, our often first sail on the first weekend of December, is partially skimmed over. This is promising but the weather forecast for next week is for temperate damp weather and this has been a warm fall so Plymouth may wait. Water levels in lakes and ponds are at 50 year historic lows. Tolman is pretty shallow, a few feet, so less water may cool faster. That first ice is hard and thin so sharpen the runners and find the dry suits.


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