Skaha Lake slow to give up its ice this year - InfoNews

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Skaha Lake slow to give up its ice this year

It's a rare sight to still see this much ice on Skaha Lake on March 22.
March 22, 2019 - 3:00 PM

PENTICTON - It’s been a weird year for ice on Skaha Lake in the South Okanagan.

It was mid-February before ice began to form on Skaha Lake south of Penticton due to the unseasonably mild winter to that point.

Things changed dramatically, weather-wise, through February and now Skaha seems unable to shed its ice for the season, even after a week of near record high temperatures in the South Okanagan.

Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations biologist Eric Hegerat says he suspects its because those daytime high temperatures have been accompanied by below freezing temperatures overnight.

“We haven’t had a lot of wind in the last couple of weeks. We’ve had a couple of days of wind but not that type of consistent wind we often see this time of year,” Hegerat says.

This week the lake — which is 12 kilometres long and around two km wide — has followed a consistent pattern of thawing to some extent during the day, only to have a new skin of ice form overnight.

Hegerat says the south end of the lake still "seems to be locked up pretty tight.”

“I think that ice in the south is still a remnant of the conditions we had in February, with it being the second coldest February on record. We just had way more ice form on that south end than we normally do. I think the first time we get a strong wind out of the north, we’re going to see a lot of that stuff break up,” he says.

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