Weather and water

Have a group making our second trip to BWCA first part of June 2008. What can we expect for day/night air, and water temps? Our 2006 trip was first part of August so we are expecting much different conditions in early June.


Google Ely MN weather history
and you will learn that the low can be near freezing the high can be near 90 and the average low is in the high 40’s and the average high about 70.

I bet it will be chilly for swimming.

Is this question for real? The date of ice out and the warmth of the days in May is going to influence the water temp along with the amount of sunlight versus cloud. That weather hasnt happened yet.

Now as to the bugs you might ask a bug. Thats rainfall and temp dependent too.

Temps in June
Lake Superior has a big influence on the eastern part of the BWCA at that time of year. If your trip is off the Gunflint, you will find colder water and air temps than if your trip is in the western part of the BWCA - lake temps by as much as 10F. So if you want warmer and dryer for your trip, plan west. In the east, you will generally find surface water temps in the low to mid 60’s in early June, but that doesn’t extend down more than a few feet. At this time of year, major wind for just a day can actually cause lakes to turnover again, resulting in surface temps back down into the 40’s. Just be aware that this can happen and if it does, be sure to shift toward safe paddling strategies on dangerously cold water.

expect a lot more bugs in early June, especially black flies that are essentially gone by August, also ticks and mosquitoes- you can plan on probably not wanting to sit around a campfire at dusk. On the other hand, sunset will be an hour or more later than August. You barely need a flashlight that time of year. Consider spraying clothing with permethrin and using head nets. As already stated- temps can be all over the place but water will probably be cool yet, baring a hot spring/early summer.

and since most folk avoid
or are fearful of bugs, you should have a crowd free trip.

I love tripping early in June.

BWCA in June
Expect and embrace wind and rain and the occasional (hourly?) thunderstorm…Spring is an unsettled season in the BWCA. It can be exhilarating!

Less people at the beginning of June, more bugs, colder water, can be rainy. On the other hand, you will have better campsites to choose from, Loons in abundance, less people, cooler days, if you are lucky you will see wolves. I have done several trips in June and in September. I have heard and seen more wolves, moose, and bear in June than in September. Its a magical time in the bwca in June. You might get lots of rain and you might not. Its a chance worth taking.

Pack the headnet
and a Tundra tarp might not be a bad idea.