Thursday, May 3, 2018

Water Temperatures Still A Concern This May

It’s difficult to believe that over the last three days my backyard has gone from six inches of new snow to flooding. With temperatures in the Adirondacks skyrocketing from near freezing to the mid-80s in some areas on Wednesday, flood warnings and rising water levels are prevalent.  All that snow has to go somewhere.

With this 40-degree temperature shift, streams and rivers will be more challenging, if not impossible to cross. What people may forget, though is that the water temperatures are colder than usual for the beginning of May. It may feel like summer, but the cold water is what we need be wary of.

Now that the air is warm, the first thing my children want to do is get out on the water. I don’t blame them. It has been a long winter, with a few extra winter weeks thrown in for good measure. Our bodies want to just take to the sailboats or canoes in our tee shirts and shorts, but we need to dress for the water temperature not the air temperature.

Each spring we read about another senseless boating or swimming accident. Please take special precautions. Wear a pdf and cold water protection, and stay away from powerful streams where waters are high.

New York State requires boaters in a vessel of less than 21 feet to wear a life vest until May 1. But this year, boaters should take extra precautions through the month of May as water temperatures remain cold.

Cold water shock when water temperatures are less than 40 degrees (as they mostly are now) is considered extremely dangerous and life threatening. It can take less than 15 minutes for exhaustion or unconsciousness to set in.

Swimming or falling into swollen rivers and streams can take your life.  Do not swim in fast moving waters.

Be safe. Summer will be here soon enough.

Photo of St. Regis Falls in April courtesy Diane Chase,

Related Stories

Kid next to water

Diane Chase

Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.

5 Responses

  1. Paul says:

    Look at that picture. Why don’t we use more hydro power around here? Zero emission energy just wasted. There is another link here to a story on a dam replacement out near Rainbow Lake. It “used” to generate electricity- not any more? This is insane. Why are some many so called green groups opposed to clean hydro power? Canada is killing us on it. Some provinces get 90% of their power from water. The country gets more than 25%. We are at like 7? Its half of our renewable but still.. Sorry, and yes, be careful out there its easy to freeze do death this time of year even on a nice warm day.

    • Charlie S says:

      There are environmental consequences with the damming up of rivers Paul. There is a ton of written history on this fact. Insane is the way we continue to manipulate and destroy nature to satisfy a selfish human end.

  2. Charlie S says:

    We’re going to have to come up with some kind of right decisions eventually Paul there’s no doubt about it. One things for sure though…we’re going to have to do it in a way which benefits all living things on this planet not just humans, because as you should well be aware, we need all of those other living forms they are here for a reason there is an interconnection between us and them. We have not come to that realization yet unfortunately, we’d better hurry up and get there soon! Without those other living forms we wont survive! Unless of course you think we can survive in an artificial world.Survive spiritually that is.

Wait, before you go,

sign up for news updates from the Adirondack Almanack!