Lake ice out isn't far away

- Thanks to the very warm temperatures over the last couple of weeks we are now just days away from many ponds and lakes becoming ice free across much of central and southern Minnesota.  This is not the earliest we have ever seen ice out of our many lakes, but it sure isn’t far off.  The record ice out dates can be seen in the image below…

Many in the metro are in the first 10 days of March and came in the year 2000 when a mild stretch of weather through the latter half of winter lead to a quick decline in ice statewide.  A similar situation has impacted much of the area this year with temperatures running a solid dozen degrees above average to begin the month of March.  You can actually see the melting take place from space too.  The following image was taken from a satellite when we had clear skies on Saturday…

Look at our big lakes.  Notice the ones in northern Minnesota appear white and Lake Minnetonka on the west side of the metro appears black.  This is because ice and snow still cover most of the lakes in the north while open water can be found on many lakes around the metro giving it that dark blue or black like appearance.  With temperatures still well above freezing and continued rainfall, all Minnesota lakes will be losing a lot of ice in the coming days with ice out likely occurring on many lakes in the southern half of the state by the end of the week.

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