Mel Diotte of Windsor, Ontario captured dramatic video of ice forming rapidly on Lake Erie.

Mel Diotte of Windsor, Ontario captured dramatic video of ice forming rapidly on Lake Erie.
Photo Credit: Courtesy Mel Diotte/CBC

Extreme cold freezes 60 per cent of Great Lake


Extreme cold blasted through central and eastern Canada over the weekend freezing 60 per cent of the world’s eleventh largest lake. On February 14th the province of Quebec saw windchill temperatures reach -46 C and Barrie, Ontario reached -33.3 C which broke the previous record in 1879.

Officer may lose fingers to frostbite

In neighbouring Manitoba, a police officer suffered severe frostbite to his hands that may cost him some fingers. He was in training at the time in weather that, with the wind, felt like -39 C. There are guidelines to protect workers from such accidents and an investigation is likely.

A participant in the Mad Trapper Snowshoe Ultimate Frisbee tournament in Ottawa on Feb. 14, 2016 was undaunted by extreme cold warnings and wind chills of -35 to -40 C.
A participant in the Mad Trapper Snowshoe Ultimate Frisbee tournament in Ottawa on Feb. 14, 2016 was undaunted by extreme cold warnings and wind chills of -35 to -40 C. © Justin Tang/Canadian Press

Lake Erie’s surface measures 25,700 sq. km. On Friday, Feb. 12, satellite imagery showed ice covering only thee per cent of this, the shallowest of the five Great lakes at the heart of North America. By Sunday, the ice had formed over 64 per cent of the surface. CBC obtained video of the ice forming and bunching up.

Cold, snow, rain…sigh

While Canadians are used to some very cold weather in winter, many found this weekend to be extreme. It could be partly because in eastern Canada, it has been unusually warm until now because of the weather effects of La Nina.

Indeed, after the extreme cold of the weekend, Montreal will see temperatures go back above zero this week, and an expected snowfall will likely turn to freezing rain.

It seems like there’s never a dull moment this winter.

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2 comments on “Extreme cold freezes 60 per cent of Great Lake
  1. With temperatures in the course of recent weeks dunking down into the less 20s, with rebuffing wind chills in the short 30s, the measure of ice on the Great Lakes surged from close to zero up to almost 30 for every penny scope, and Lake Erie – the shallowest of the Great Lakes saw more than 85 for every penny ice scope by Monday morning.

  2. Massive boulders of ice formed from the mist rest in hills beneath the rage of the falls, a common site in especially cool years. While Niagara never absolutely solidifies over, ice bridges can form that connect the shorelines of the river.