Saturday, December 12, 2015

Fun With Charts and Graphs

So it's mid-December and winter hasn't arrived yet.  No snow to ski on, and too warm to swim.  So what am I doing?  Wasting way too much time wading through the cesspool known as the web.  But today I spotted a treasure floating amongst all the sewage.  Check this out this analysis of Lake Michigan water temperatures:

Here are some observations:
- Even though the lake temps are well above average now, they were well below average in early 2015.  If you recall the lake nearly froze over last winter.  So the lake temps started off cool in spring and stayed that way all the way through the swim season (mid-May through Sept).  This matches my impression of 2015 as a below average swim season (temperature-wise anyway).

- If you look at the two really great swim seasons, 2012 and 2010, the opposite occurred.  The water started the year warmer than average and stayed warmer than average all through the swim season.  I recall 2012 in particular as the year when we had three solid months of water temps in the high 60's and low 70's.

- So if this pattern holds (i.e. if the water stays much warmer than average this winter), the 2016 swim season might be very good or even great.  But of course at this point I have to curb my enthusiasm.  So many of my predictions about Lake Michigan have dashed on the rock piles of hard cold reality.  But it's something to dream about during the dark days of December.

Merry Christmas everyone!