June 10 Update: Will Iceberg on Lake Superior Last till July?

June 11th, 2014 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

As I reported on June 4, and again on June 6, there remains a large iceberg northeast of Ashland, WI, which is slowly approaching Madeline Island.

Boatside pics of some of the smaller icebergs reached the popular press on June 7, as reported by Wisconsin DNR employee Amie Egstad:

I’m still curious about what might be a much larger iceberg, though, which looks to be at least 1,000 ft. in diameter in the NASA Aqua satellite MODIS instrument imagery (it might be made made up of smaller pieces…you can’t tell from the satellite imagery, which has at best 750 ft resolution…click for the large version):

I sent an e-mail to DNR employee Amie Egstad about this larger mass of ice…it sure would be nice if we got updates on this in the coming days. The iceberg she took pics of (above photo) is really thick, suggesting there might be “bigger” ice out there that will take some time to melt.

I’ve been getting periodic reports from Mark Vinson on R/V Kiyi, still on Superior, of nearshore water temperatures running around 37 deg. F. While it seems unthinkable, I suppose it is possible that thick icebergs in water that cold could last until July.

4 Responses to “June 10 Update: Will Iceberg on Lake Superior Last till July?”

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  1. David V says:

    Sorry to hijack your thread, Roy, but I’m curious to know the accuracy of this report.
    Rather than stink up this thread, would someone in the know perhaps email me a response please.
    [email protected]
    Many thanks.

  2. Norman says:

    It is amazing to still have ice on the lake this late in the season. It does not seem to have much effect on the local land temperatures though. Things look normal to a little above in Ashland, WI.


  3. Thanks, Dr. Spencer. Good iceberg spotting.
    Could a large iceberg in Lake Superior survive till the next winter? Have there been cases? Since when has Lake Superior been iceberg-free by the Summer Solstice?

  4. James Strom says:

    The “small” iceberg looks pretty impressive, but all the bergs in Superior will be exposed to full sun, so they probably won’t survive. However, there’s a lot of forest abutting Lake Superior. What is the chance of terrestrial snow surviving through the summer in the shade of the trees?

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