A Face Appeared In The Ice On Lake Superior Seen from Satellite
Our recent cold weather is leading to Lake Superior forming some new ice during the winter of 2023. Aside from a handful of days, this winter has largely been pretty warm, so there hasn't been a ton of ice formation going on out on Gitche Gumee.
While a vast majority of the lake is still wide open, areas along the shoreline, particularly in bays, are seeing ice development. The satellite image at the top of the page shows all of Lake Superior just after 1 pm today (January 30). Most of what you see over the lake is fog/sea smoke from the frigid air blowing across the open lake. There are some areas forming ice, however.
Take the head of the lake near Duluth, for example. A few sheets of ice have developed offshore, mostly covering an area from Superior to around the Port Wing area in Wisconsin.
Similarly, you can see some pretty solid ice built in by Ashland, up the Bayfield Peninsula toward Bayfield.
Heading further north, however, is where something really weird showed up on NOAA's satellite images of Lake Superior. About 30 miles northeast of Grand Portage on the North Shore, coming out of the bay that Thunder Bay calls home, an ice formation drifted out of the bay.
In the first image, captured around 11 am on January 30, shows a chunk of ice floating away from the bay into the lake, taking somewhat of a head shape. Things really develop over the next couple of hours.
In the next satellite image, captured just after 1 pm, you see what looks like a face really take shape.
Pretty wild, right? Here, I'll zoom in even further to give you the full effect. Eyes? Check. Mouth? Check. Depending on how you look at it, the whole ice formation looks like a head, but there's a second head in the image too. If you look at the right side of the head, it looks like a side-profile of a face too, doesn't it? The right eye would be the eye of the side profile, and there's even what looks like a little nose and mouth protruding from the right side of the formation.
Those familiar with the area might know that this giant face appeared just offshore from the "Sleeping Giant", a unique rock formation on the peninsula to the upper right of the ice formation.
I know what you're thinking - "this was Photoshopped". If you want proof for yourself, here's a link to the satellite image right from NOAA.
While there has been ice flowing out of the bay for the last couple of days, this afternoon is when the formation truly took shape. Unfortunately, there are only two images captured today, so there isn't a lot to compare to see how much it changed over the course of the day. We'll see what (if anything) is there Tuesday.