A loyal reader sent me this image of a house which is about 20 miles from mine. Full story.


It is apparently right on the Lake Erie shore which is why my house looks nothing like that. What happened here?

This has been a very strange winter. Although it has been uncharacteristically warm, that is actually what caused this ice build up. A few days ago, we had some very high winds while the temperature dipped down to the low 20sF. This created big waves on the lake and the splash and spray on the shore was able to travel horizontally quite a bit more than usual. That’s how that house got coated in ice.

To see why it is extraordinary and why the generally warm temperatures caused this, take a look at this image from April 30, 2019.


This shows the ice boom which is deployed every winter at the end of Lake Erie. This prevents too much ice from damaging the Niagara River shoreline or overwhelming the power plant intakes at Niagara Falls. That image shows they are just releasing the ice.

Now compare it to this morning, nearly two months earlier in the season.


It was foggy, but you can see the boom is still strung together in its winter configuration and yet there is absolutely no ice this year at all! None. This is why that house on the shore was seeing more water spray. Usually there is shore ice that keeps that house separated from water spray. (You can see a bit of shore ice on the Canadian shore, but it’s very light.)

You can also see a boat in today’s photo; that boat is preparing to remove the boom.

NASA points out that on February 14, the Great Lakes should be 41% covered with ice and this year they were 17%. Definitely some interesting weather.