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In some areas, the lack of plankton growth and the clarity of water would be cause for worry—pollutants like acid rain often kill the growth. Read more. In areas of ice, there are often cracks and the ice may not be stable or thick enough to support recreational activity. Though clean, Glacier waters are not necessarily drinkable. Of the over 700 lakes within Glacier National park, 131 are named. As weather conditions vary, so will the ice on the lake. While official records have not documented annual ice levels on Lake McDonald, the most recent year with the majority of the lake frozen over was in 2007. Glacier's water can be considered the headwaters of the entire continent. Not here. Just like the U-shaped valleys they often fill, these long lakes have a bathtub shape—deep with steep sides. It is approximately 10 miles long, 1- 1.5 miles wide and at its deepest point it is over 460 feet deep. Mow said, “Lake McDonald is a beautiful lake with a spectacular vista in the winter, but please enjoy safely.”. The all-time record cold temperature at the park in West Glacier since 1950 was December 2, 1958 at -36 degrees Fahrenheit. The report indicated that the visitors were cross-country skiing on the lake when the ice gave way. Water temperature data is important in hydrologic forecasting for monitoring formation of ice on rivers and lakes in our regions. Most of the low-elevation lakes are the remnants of long glacial valleys dammed at their outlets by end moraines. This past weekend park rangers received a report that two visitors fell into Lake McDonald, but were able to rescue themselves from the icy waters. This winter’s lowest cold temperature to date was last week, February 6, with -22 degrees. The lake surface ranges from open water to slush and areas of ice, often with all three conditions existing in close proximity. NPS / Jacob W. Frank. Intermittent records were also maintained prior to this dating back to the 1920s. At high elevations, most lakes exist as glacial tarns, new lakes filling the bottoms of ice-scoured amphitheaters. These sterile oligotrophic lakes are also an early warning system. From Triple Divide Peak, a droplet can theoretically split three ways and eventually make it to the Pacific, Atlantic, and Hudson Bay watersheds. Glacier National Park Service maintains weather data in partnership with the National Weather Service, and has consistently recorded this information in West Glacier since 1950. Wind keeps water moving and circulating, keeping it from turning to ice. 14 Days. The temperature of most lakes never gets above 50 degrees Fahrenheit at the surface, so plankton growth is minimal. Weather conditions, specifically temperature and wind, are key factors in water bodies freezing over. At 10 miles long (16 km) and 464 feet deep (141.4 m) Lake McDonald is both largest and deepest body of water in the park. While official records have not documented annual ice levels on Lake McDonald, the most recent year with the majority of the lake frozen over was in 2007. Much of their equipment was lost. There is potential presence of a disease causing parasite. See All Videos. To see the daily forecast, scroll to the table below. Share. These lakes are at the extreme low end of fertility, because of their low temperatures, extreme depth, and the kinds of minerals supplied by surrounding rock. Videos. Helpful. Temperature prediction accuracy is expected to range between 1 to 3 degrees Fahrenheit. Extended periods of below freezing temperatures are needed to form ice on the lake. Extended periods of below freezing temperatures are needed to form ice on the lake. The higher elevation tarns are sensitive to airborne pollutants because they get the winter precipitation load in spring, when the snow melts. Conditions on the lake are dynamic and change within a matter of hours. Water Temperature data is collected daily from sources such as USGS and the US Army Corp of Engineers. They often have small end moraines at their lower ends as well, sometimes with a headwall waterfall which isolates them from fish migration. Thanks to past ice-ages, Glacier has lots of water. Recent freezing temperatures have contributed to an increase of ice on Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park, and a reminder for visitors to be very cautious around bodies of water in the winter. Weather conditions, specifically temperature and wind, are key factors in water bodies freezing over. The coolest part is where avalanche creek meets it the bluish water hits the lake water. Here is your temperature trend for the next 14 Days. Glacier National Park Superintendent Jeff Mow said, “We encourage visitors to use extreme caution near the ice on Lake McDonald.” Mow said that the lake is not completely frozen over and conditions vary across the lake. Extended periods of below freezing temperatures are needed to form ice on the lake. Lake McDonald is the largest lake in Glacier National Park.It is located at in Flathead County in the U.S. state of MontanaLake McDonald is approximately 10 miles (16 km) long, and over a mile (1.6 km) wide and 472 feet (130 m) deep, filling a valley formed by a combination of erosion and glacial activity. The fishless tarns have still developed complex ecosystems of smaller plants and animals. Visitors are encouraged to visit the park’s webcams via the park’s website at https://www.nps.gov/glac/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm for winter images. Glacially-carved Lake McDonald is the largest lake in the park. Lake McDonald, MT Weather 14 Day Trend. While official records have not documented annual ice levels on Lake McDonald, the most recent year with the majority of the lake frozen over was in 2007. For more information about Lake McDonald and visiting Glacier National Park, contact the park at 406-888-7800. Glacier waters are not necessarily drinkable. Glacier's water can be considered the headwaters of the entire continent. Thanks to past ice-ages, Glacier has lots of water. The Apgar Lookout and Lake McDonald webcams feature images of Lake McDonald. The scenery is ... but cold. Weather conditions, specifically temperature and wind, are key factors in water bodies freezing over. Cold and Clear If you can take a hike around the lake I recommend it. Lake McDonald is huge and the best place to see it is from the Lake McDonald Lodge. It is not unusual to spot details on the bottom of lakes beyond 30 feet. Date of experience: November 2020. They are easily altered by small amounts of pollution, and therefore serve as bell-weathers for our water conditions everywhere. Of the over 700 lakes within Glacier National park, 131 are named. Water quality can be significantly affected by air quality. Depending on the level of nearby glacial activity, and therefore the amount of powdered rock they contain, these lakes have a milky turquoise, sapphire blue or extremely clear appearance. Data are queried from the NCRFC database late morning each day. For all sorts of lake-relatved recreation such as swimming boating,and fishing, this site provides mathematically generated instantaneous and 5-day predictions of lake surface water temperatures. Lake McDonald is the largest of Glacier's many long lakes. Look at a map of the park and you will see these finger-like lakes stretching away from the Continental Divide. Water temperature data is important in hydrologic forecasting for monitoring formation of ice, often with three... 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