The New Year has begun and the lake has now refrozen. The ice is very thin so travel on it is not possible except along the edges where if you break through, you get your feet wet instead of drowning. Cold feet are one thing, thrashing in ice cold water is another.
Winds kept much of the lake unfrozen until New Year’s Eve when the lake then basically froze over. Some places weren’t but most was frozen. On New Year’s Day, there was sun, then clouds and then during the night, some rain and some snow arrived. It may never be ideal for skating because of the snow but you never know. The ice is not thick enough now anyway so it is a moot question as to whether the ice is smooth.
Looking out on the lake, some areas seem to have had enough rain on top of the ice so that the snow has turned to slush. This may make for OK skating but that will have to be determined. From the photo, the entire area looks to be frozen because any open water would look dark.
The slush-ice-snow areas seem to be everywhere and this is looking toward Little Bass from the east.
The large areas of gray may turn into good skating if nothing else falls on them. Given that there isn’t a thick layer of snow, cold weather should make the ice thicker more quickly than if there was a thick layer of snow. At the same time, temperatures are not forecast to go below the 20’s and there will be highs in the 30’s.
Some areas probably will never be smooth ice as areas near some shores had chunks of ice frozen into them. These are not seen now because an inch of wet snow with some rain fell. The snow covers them up.
As always, the freezing of the lake is not a straightforward process. Right now, the ice is not safe. Sooner or later it will be but, unless you want to go for an icy dip, stay off the lake.
Thanks for the updates. Very useful for our first time with the cottage winterized-ish and sticking around for all 4 seasons.