Dit even terzijde

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Jan van der Doe
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Lid geworden op: 30 dec 2004 16:02
Locatie: Fergus, ON
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Rising Great Lakes prompt calls for more icebreakers

1/18 - Detroit, MI – The shipping industry and Michigan businesses are urging Congress to increase the number of icebreaking ships in the Great Lakes as water levels have surged to record highs in most of the lakes and connecting waterways.

In the past few winters, higher water levels have created greater ice hazards for ships, hindering the movement of goods and last year costing an estimated 5,421 jobs and $1 billion to the U.S. economy, according to an industry-backed study. It also resulted in an estimated $172,000 in lost state and federal tax revenue.

The losses resulted from steel that wasn't made and power that wasn't generated by coal and iron ore that U.S.-flag ships couldn't move, according to a report by Martin Associates that used industry-provided numbers on lost hours and tonnage. The cargo moved on Great Lakes waterways include iron ore, coal, limestone, grain, salt, fuel and oil.

Freezing temperatures and winter storms in higher water create more opportunities for the formation of ice floes — large sheets of ice that can damage hulls — and ice jams, which clog waterways and cause flooding. They are creating a growing problem to keep the shipping channels and harbors open from December to as late as April, said Jim Weakley, president of the Lake Carriers Association, which represents shipping companies operating on the lakes.

"We've been complaining about this for years," Weakley said. "And now with the high water, we think the problems are going to be even worse, not just an economic loss to the laker fleet, but an economic loss to the steel companies that we provide support for."

Sen. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, has been working for five years to get funding for a new heavy ice cutter, but the Coast Guard has not created a plan to do so. He recently got $2 million in the latest budget agreement to jump-start the process.

“The Great Lakes are in desperate need of a new heavy icebreaker because Michigan businesses must be able to rely on shipping to move their goods and materials year-round," Peters said in a statement. "Increasing our icebreaking capacity will not only help support maritime commerce but will also protect our Northern border.”

Read more and view images at this link: https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/ ... 4410987002

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There’s almost no ice on the Great Lakes: Does that mean more lake effect snow?

1/19 - Syracuse, N.Y. – The extended warm spell Upstate New York has been stuck in could, paradoxically, lead to more snow.

That’s because warm air has kept ice from forming on the Great Lakes, and that means more open water that to produce lake effect snow. The five lakes have just 5.3% of ice cover as of Tuesday, which is a quarter of the long-term average for Jan. 14. Most of that is in the bays of the more northern lakes: Michigan, Huron and Superior.

While Upstate can get lake effect snow from as far away as Lake Huron, most of it comes from lakes Erie and Ontario. Erie, which delivers those mega-lake effect storms that make Buffalo famous, usually has about 40 percent of its surface covered with ice by now. As of Tuesday, it was zero.

Lake Ontario, which contributes the lake effect that makes Tug Hill one of the snowiest spots in the East, has less than 1% of ice cover. In a normal year, about 9% of the lake would be covered in ice.

There’s no formula that can predict inches of snow vs. percentage of ice, but the rule of thumb is that the less surface area of a lake is covered with ice, the more moisture will evaporate and fall as snow when cold winds whip across the lakes.

“As long as they’re open and not frozen over, you can get lake effect snow,” said Jon Hitchcock, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Buffalo.

In a typical winter, ice on the Great Lakes starts to form on the lakes in late fall and peaks in March. Erie’s average ice cover in early March at about 70%, but in cold years the shallow lake can freeze over completely. While moisture can still rise through cracks in the ice, a frozen lake in essence shuts down the lake effect machine.

Lake Ontario, with an average depth of about 800 feet, almost never freezes over completely. At its typical late winter peak, 60% of Ontario’s surface remains ice-free. Great Lakes have little ice so far this year

Only 5.3% of the Great Lakes is covered by ice as of Tuesday, about one-quarter of normal for mid-January.

Not surprisingly, the lakes are much warmer than average now. Both Erie and Ontario are 3 to 4 degrees above average for this time of year. That doesn’t make much difference in how much lake effect snow falls, Hitchcock said.

“It’s a misnomer that warm lakes lead to lake effect snow,” he said. “Just having the lakes warm doesn’t seem to be that much of a difference.”

Hitchcock noted that open water is just one ingredient in the lake effect snow recipe. The air also has to be cold enough and the winds have to come from the right direction. The heaviest lake effect snow falls when winds whip along the longest axis of the lake; for Lake Ontario, which lies west to east, the biggest snows are generated by winds from the west.

While the lakes are warm, it’s not unprecedented. Hitchcock said Lake Erie is at 33 degrees right now, and the record for this time of year is 42. “It’s warmer than normal but not in record territory,” he said.

The open lakes will have a chance to do their stuff this week and into next week as cold air and strong winds return to Upstate New York. Winter weather advisories are in place for Western New York and Tug Hill today for up to 6 inches of lake effect snow. A weekend storm will likely bring some snow from a system rumbling from the Pacific Northwest to the Northeast, and as that system departs Sunday, the cold air behind it is likely to generate more lake effect snow east and southeast of the lakes.

syracuse.comhere’s almost no ice on the Great Lakes: Does that mean more lake effect snow?

1/19 - Syracuse, N.Y. – The extended warm spell Upstate New York has been stuck in could, paradoxically, lead to more snow.

That’s because warm air has kept ice from forming on the Great Lakes, and that means more open water that to produce lake effect snow. The five lakes have just 5.3% of ice cover as of Tuesday, which is a quarter of the long-term average for Jan. 14. Most of that is in the bays of the more northern lakes: Michigan, Huron and Superior.

While Upstate can get lake effect snow from as far away as Lake Huron, most of it comes from lakes Erie and Ontario. Erie, which delivers those mega-lake effect storms that make Buffalo famous, usually has about 40 percent of its surface covered with ice by now. As of Tuesday, it was zero.

Lake Ontario, which contributes the lake effect that makes Tug Hill one of the snowiest spots in the East, has less than 1% of ice cover. In a normal year, about 9% of the lake would be covered in ice.

There’s no formula that can predict inches of snow vs. percentage of ice, but the rule of thumb is that the less surface area of a lake is covered with ice, the more moisture will evaporate and fall as snow when cold winds whip across the lakes.

“As long as they’re open and not frozen over, you can get lake effect snow,” said Jon Hitchcock, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Buffalo.

In a typical winter, ice on the Great Lakes starts to form on the lakes in late fall and peaks in March. Erie’s average ice cover in early March at about 70%, but in cold years the shallow lake can freeze over completely. While moisture can still rise through cracks in the ice, a frozen lake in essence shuts down the lake effect machine.

Lake Ontario, with an average depth of about 800 feet, almost never freezes over completely. At its typical late winter peak, 60% of Ontario’s surface remains ice-free. Great Lakes have little ice so far this year

Only 5.3% of the Great Lakes is covered by ice as of Tuesday, about one-quarter of normal for mid-January.

Not surprisingly, the lakes are much warmer than average now. Both Erie and Ontario are 3 to 4 degrees above average for this time of year. That doesn’t make much difference in how much lake effect snow falls, Hitchcock said.

“It’s a misnomer that warm lakes lead to lake effect snow,” he said. “Just having the lakes warm doesn’t seem to be that much of a difference.”

Hitchcock noted that open water is just one ingredient in the lake effect snow recipe. The air also has to be cold enough and the winds have to come from the right direction. The heaviest lake effect snow falls when winds whip along the longest axis of the lake; for Lake Ontario, which lies west to east, the biggest snows are generated by winds from the west.

While the lakes are warm, it’s not unprecedented. Hitchcock said Lake Erie is at 33 degrees right now, and the record for this time of year is 42. “It’s warmer than normal but not in record territory,” he said.

The open lakes will have a chance to do their stuff this week and into next week as cold air and strong winds return to Upstate New York. Winter weather advisories are in place for Western New York and Tug Hill today for up to 6 inches of lake effect snow. A weekend storm will likely bring some snow from a system rumbling from the Pacific Northwest to the Northeast, and as that system departs Sunday, the cold air behind it is likely to generate more lake effect snow east and southeast of the lakes.

syracuse.com
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Jan.


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