In my+46 years as a meteorologist, I cannot remember a day clearer than Friday across the Great Lakes. The top picture is the entire Great Lakes area. Can you even find one cloud? When I was walking at the Athletic Field in Alpine Township Friday PM…all I saw in the sky besides the sun was a couple jets with very short contrails and one helicopter.
The Lake Superior satellite picture from Friday PM (3/19) shows what looks like a relatively small patch of clouds just east Lake Superior east of Wawa, Ontario. There is snow on the ground around the lake and you can see the white ice in Black Bay and Nipigon Bay on the north side of Lake Superior. Many inland lakes are still frozen over.
The lake Michigan satellite picture shows clear skies. You can see the white ice on Houghton Lake, Higgins Lake, Burt Lake and Mullet Lake. There is still ice on most of Lake Winnebego in Eastern Wisconsin (some open water on the north end of the lake). The ice is breaking up on Green Bay and up by the Straits of Mackinac.
I’ve heard from some teachers that like to look at my blog and share with their classes. You might point out some geographic features here….find Chicago…why is Chicago a slightly different color? Can you find the sand dunes at Silver Lake and near Ludington? Can you see the Ford Airport by Grand Rapids? What else can you see? This map shows the real color of the land. Save this picture and compare it to a clear day in 6 weeks to see how the land turns green.
On the Lake Huron satellite picture, you can see ice in the North Channel and a tiny patch of ice by the shore northeast of Port Huron/Sarnia. Lake Simcoe in Canada is still ice covered, but the ice is gray, old and weak.
Here’s Lake Erie and Lake St Clair. You can see sediment discoloring the water. There’s still a couple of relatively small patches of ice at the east end of the lake. You can see Detroit, Cleveland and the horseshoe shaped Pymatuning Reservoir east of Cleveland along the PA/OH border.
Here’s Lake Ontario. You can see snow on the ground east of the lake on the Tug Plateau. The Finger Lakes show up well. These lakes are quite deep. Cayuga and Seneca Lakes are among the deepest in the United States, measuring 435 feet (133 m) and 618 feet (188 m) respectively. Seneca Lake is almost three times deeper than Lake Erie. Because they are so deep, it’s rare that they freeze over in the winter time. Shallower Lake Oneida is still ice covered. Lake Oneida has an average depth of 22 feet and a maximum depth of 55 feet. You can also see the Niagara River moving north from Lake Erie over Niagara Falls into Lake Ontario.
This is a pic. from Wikipedia of the Salmon River after a heavy snowfall. This area can get very heavy lake-effect snow, that can fall at the rate of 3″ per hour and 36″ per day.