May 3rd, 2014



This winter was a bear. The Great Lakes reached a 40 year high in the amount of ice cover which was from 92-96%. This has been a gift that keeps on giving.

The Keweenaw Peninsula last week saw wind blowing vast amounts of ice ashore cause a good deal of damage. The local and national news called it an ice tsunami.

A friend was running a library conference at the Grand Hotel on Macinac Island this week. What was supposed to be a lovely spring conference on a very pretty island became a logistical nightmare. The passenger ferry is not yet running because of ice. The cargo ferry cum ice breaker is but some attendees complained about its accommodations.

Traffic in and out of Duluth harbor still requires ice breakers. And as of the end of April there was still 38% ice cover on the Great Lakes. Down lake steel mills have had to close because iron ore cannot get out. It took the Coast Guard to get coal into the power plant at Marquette. The harbor there still had 24" of ice.

Spring in Michigan is chilly because of all the ice. I wonder what day the betters have for last ice in Duluth harbor. When I lived there the latest ice spotted was mid-June. It may be later this year.