As the U.S. and other parts of the world grapple with the abundance of caution needed to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, many folks are finding themselves working from home – or on an unexpectedly extended Spring Break.
Before you roll your eyes and mumble about “overreactions” to the novel coronavirus, this momentary inconvenience is truly just what the doctor ordered – and we’ve got a prescription to help with that cabin fever. How about taking one (or five) doses of virtual lake tourism? This may be the Spring we all stayed home but, hopefully, the following lake webcams can get you through the social distancing doldrums!
What’s that, you say? Nothing’s happening on our favorite frozen lake? We beg to differ – watching the ice come off of Lake Mendota is an annual rite of Spring around these parts and, honestly, that ice is getting thinner and darker every day. Will Lake Mendota continue its current climate-assisted trend of thawing, or “opening,” before its median ice-out date of April 4th? Signs point to yes, so stay tuned!
Is Lake Mendota not big enough for you? Then check out this Duluth, Minnesota webcam of Lake Superior. Just yesterday, it captured the amazing footage above of ice-out in the harbor. Watch ice floes head out into the lake and then, thanks to a wind-assisted seiche event, stop and reverse course!
Did you know that there are a lot of lakes that AREN’T frozen at the moment? Here is a beautiful livestream of conditions on the western shore of Lake Tahoe out in California. When Lake Tahoe isn’t making us jealous by being so, well, liquid, it spends its summer showing off astonishingly clear waters. The average annual Secchi depth on Tahoe in 2017 was 60 feet – which sounds great until you learn that that’s way off the 100-foot readings that were routine in the 1960’s.
Lake Baikal in Russia is the world’s deepest lake. Luckily, researchers decided to stop at five meters when they anchored this webcam to the bottom. While the was dark (it was 11pm in Listvyanka as we were writing this) when the sun is up, this clear lake offers a glimpse of some amazing aquatic life in action – like the tiny little crustaceans flitting across the screen above. (Also be on the lookout for some fish blending in with the rocky bottom).
You know, they can’t all be lakes. It’s almost Spring Break so we’re just gonna leave this here. Enjoy the (live) view!