Temperature of water in Sylvan Lake colder than normal

The cooler summer temperatures has caused the temperature of the lake water to drop

Cold weather this summer has put a bit of a damper on the usual summer fun.

The Sylvan Lake area is averaging three to four degrees cooler this summer than in 2018.

The rain and wind has kept people away from the beach, which is also a little cooler than usual.

Two events this summer have warned participants the water in the lake is cold. Jaws at the Lake on Aug. 4 had signs posted for those watching the film from the water to swim at their own risk as the cold water posed a hypothermia risk.

During the Multi-Sport at the Lake this past weekend, swimmers had to wear a wet suit and the swimming portion was cut out of the children’s events.

Graeme Strathdee with the Sylvan Lake Watershed says it is all because of the cooler-than-normal temperatures.

“Basically the main reason is the surface layer of the lake reacts very quickly to the air temperature,” Strathdee said.

When the surface layer of water becomes cold, it becomes dense and sinks creating a new surface layer, the cycle then continues. According to Strathdee this is what is happening in the lake to create colder temperatures.

While the lake temperature is not measured regularly enough to have an accurate reading, Strathdee says there will be a two or three degree difference from normal.

“With the colder weather you can bet it’ll be a bit colder when you go swimming,” he said.

Strathdee continued to say the only ones who will be affected by the slightly colder temperatures are the people who go swimming in the lake.

“The whole lake doesn’t really care that it’s a bit cooler… Parents will find their kids may have their feet get colder faster.”

Hypothermia occurs when the body temperature drops to roughly 35C or lower and can be caused by immersion in cold water.

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