Muskegon Lake froze early this year, Dec. 15.
However, beware! December 23 a salt freighter was unloading at the Verplank dock at east end of the lake. There is a ship channel dividing the lake in half … for now. Previous winters, commercial shipping traffic continued until mid January. We must assume it can continue that long in 2017.
Monday Dec. 26 the forecast is for sun, 50 degrees and 20+ mph of wind. This close to the winter solstice the initial ice cover may survive, but it will be considerably weakened and thinned.
Then the forecast turns cold. About the third day after it does so, we can begin checking ice for safety and sailing suitability.
The Cobb coal-fired electricity generating plant closed in April. This is the first year no warm waste water is discharged into the lake. I was stunned to see ice at the lake’s eastern end river delta for the first time in my ice-watching days.
a past commodore