Too cold for snow

frozen Lake Michigan Harbor


We had planned on being home in Ireland for Christmas, but we stayed in Wisconsin for a few extra days to attend the funeral of one of our daughter's great grandfathers. His name was Orry. A legendary Orry of the Isle of Mann was once asked "Where is your country?" He responded by pointing to the stars of the Milky Way and saying, "That is the road to my country." The Milky Way is also known as in the Manx language "Raad Mooar Ree Gorry", "The Great Way of King Orry."

Our daughter was able to meet and cheer up two great grandfathers and a great grandmother. She played with cousins, aunts and uncles, one of whom she referred to as "Sata Claus." And she experienced snow for the second time, even though for the first few days here it was, as the locals say, "too cold to snow." There is some truth to this folklore. Last week the temperature ranged from -8 to +10 Fahrenheit. Air this cold holds little moisture, but we watched the open water of Lake Michigan give up its latent heat as a mysterious fog and heavy snow across the lake which stranded my sister in a Red Cross shelter for a night. Transient mini-waterspouts formed where there was a sudden 40 degree temperature gradient. Mirage effects caused a passing ship (toward the right harbor light in the photo) and the 3 mile reef light to appear to hover above the water. A few weeks from now most of the lake will be capped with a layer of ice, the evaporation will stop and the lake effect snow squalls will stop. Steaming 'hot' lake from satellite Swim at your own risk


Tonight this shore is blessed with just a dusting of powdery snow.

Satellite image was created by Liam Gumley at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Space Science and Engineering center's Modis gallery."
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