The ice is melting but the warm moist air blowing across the lake produced some bizarre fog formations. It may be that the fog only lasted for half an hour or so but sometimes you get lucky. Remember the Ice Out contest is ongoing and look to the third article about the new organization.
Out on the lake on the 22nd, there were places where snowmobile tracks were a bit “damp” and not inviting for XC skiing. The surface of the lake was hard and most was covered with enough snow to make skiing very pleasant but not in the wet tracks.
Near the sandbar on Stamp Act, there was an area of slush and one member of the party fell through basically at the beach so the water was about 4 inches deep. It was not cause for alarm as it was around 50 degrees.
Since then, it has been warm, actually in the high 50s and even 60 degrees in some places in Wolfeboro. XC skiing today was in a Tshirt and it was still a bit warm for exercising. There were times when you went into cool pockets but that was sort of refreshing. As the warm air blew across the lake, some strange fog formations formed. The winds were light so the fog moved slowly but sometimes billowed up in piles. Most of the time, it caused the lower 10 – 20 feet of an island or the mainland to “disappear”.
This picture shows the fog on the far side of Brummitt Island with one of the billows in the left of the picture.
The fog billowed more although this formation stayed in place for only a minute or so. It rose probably 50 feet above the lake surface and was moving to the west at around 3 or 4 mph.
Ultimately the pile of fog moved toward Stamp Act and Cate Island and covered them. The boat house on Cate disappeared and the pine trees on Stamp Act looked like they were floating on the fog.
In many ways, it looked like the fog that is produced by dry ice. In fact is is actually similar because warm moist air came in contact with something cold and the water vapor condensed.
As you looked at the islands, they looked like they were floating. The snow and ice at your feet, reflections of things in the water on top of the ice and then the blue sky above. Never had seen anything like it before on the lake. Sometimes, you get lucky.
With regard to the ice cover on the lake, things are getting very slushy. In some places, there is a bit of snow on the surface, the grey areas are either icy or with the warm temperatures, crusty slush. You can ski over it but sometimes sink a bit down into it. Conditions on Saturday the 25th will be very questionable because of the crust weakening and letting you fall through to the few inches of slush. In most places, the ice is still thick so you won’t drown but wandering around in slush is not all that pleasant. It is supposed to be colder next week so it all may refreeze.
Also, the Lake Wentworth Foundation and the Lake Wentworth Association have merged to create the Wentworth Watershed Association. The mission of the new organization is to protect and preserve the community, natural resources, water quality and scenic beauty of the Lake Wentworth-Crescent Lake Watershed, as well as to promote knowledge of the enduring character of its woodlands, waterways and wildlife, its people and its history.
For more information, check out the Wentworth Watershed Association web site.