Chesapeake Bay, more than 4,000 square miles of waterway in the United Sates, circled by Maryland and Virginia, has not frozen it’s surface to ice since 1976, an extremely rare occurrence.
It may be ready to freeze once again.
The latest satellite data reconnaissance from the U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office indicates that the surface temperature of much of Chesapeake Bay has reached 33 degrees, just one degree short of freezing over, turning to ice.
Chesapeake Bay is the only inlet of waterway from the Atlantic, serving Baltimore, Washington DC, Alexandria, and countless other ports in the region.
Although a skim of ice on the surface poses hardly a threat to large vessels, it would hamper smaller vessels for sure. Once the ice approaches an inch in thickness, severe hull damage could result on some vessels.
The winter of 2010 – 2011 is shaping up to be one of the coldest on record in many regions of the world. If it continues, many ports of entry could be impacted, which in turn could impact your life.
As the ice develops, we will keep you up to date with the latest… at ModernSurvivalBlog.com
Update, 5-Jan-2011, A few miles northeast in Delaware Bay, Reedy Point is reporting water temperature of 32.5 degrees F.
Update, 2-Feb-2011, I should have mentioned earlier in the post (thanks to a Reader from Maynard, MA), that the temperature at which surface sea ice will freeze, is a bit lower than regular fresh water.
From the Office of Naval Research, “The freezing point of seawater is about 28.4°F (-2°C), instead of the 32°F (0°C) freezing point of ordinary water”. Additionally, “As seawater increases 5 ppt in salinity, the freezing point decreases by 0.5°F”. So given that the oceans and parts thereof vary in salinity to some degree, there is not one ‘correct’ answer to the freezing point temperature of seawater.
While the U.S. continues it’s bumpy ride through this very snowy and cold winter, the Chesapeake Bay remains open for business!
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