Minnesota's Lake Ice-Out Status as of May 4, 2001

An early onset of winter, cold winter temperatures, and a persistent snow cover combined to produce Minnesota's latest lake ice-out dates since 1997. On average, lake ice-out occurs during the first week of April in the southern tier of Minnesota counties; near the end of the second week of April in the Twin Cities metropolitan area; towards the end of the third week of April for Brainerd, Alexandria, Detroit Lakes area lakes; and during the final week of April in far northern Minnesota. This year's lake ice-out was later than historical averages in many areas. A later than average ice-out is especially notable coming on the heels of record breaking or near record breaking early lake ice-outs in 2000 (see: historical averages and extremes).

The definition of lake ice-out varies from lake to lake, and individual to individual. For some, ice-out occurs only when the lake is completely free of ice. For others, ice-out is defined as the moment when navigation is possible from point A to point B. And yet for others, ice-out is when 90 percent of the lake is ice free. Due to the variable definitions of this rather subjective observation, the State Climatology Office attempts to contact the same individuals each year to maintain a consistent record. The table below will depict the information obtained by this informal poll in the year 2001.

Historical averages and extremes have been calculated for lakes in highlighted in green.
Name County Status
Bronson Kittson out - 4/13
Cormorant Becker out - 4/27
Detroit Becker out - 4/28
Red (Lower) Beltrami out - 5/1
North Central
Name County Status
Bemidji Beltrami out - 4/29
Kabetogama St. Louis out - 5/1
L. of the Woods LOW out - 5/1
Leech Cass out - 4/29
Pokegama Itasca out - 4/28
Rainy Kooch. out - 5/1
Winnibigoshish Cass/Itas. out - 4/29
Name County Status
Fall Lake out - 4/29
Island St. Louis out - 4/29
Saganaga Cook out - 5/4
Snowbank Lake out - 5/1
Sturgeon St. Louis out - 4/29
Vermillion St. Louis out - 5/2
West Central
Name County Status
Big Stone Big Stone out - 4/21
Minnewaska Pope out - 4/24
Osakis Todd out - 4/25
Ottertail Ottertail out - 4/26
Traverse Traverse out - 4/22
West Battle Ottertail out - 4/27
Name County Status
Fish Trap Morrison out
Green Kandiyo. out - 4/25
Gull Cass out - 4/28
Rice  Stearns out - 4/22
East Central
Name County Status
Big Sandy Aitkin out - 4/29
Calhoun Hennepin out - 4/14
Forest Washing. out - 4/16
Harriet Hennepin out - 4/15
Keller Ramsey out - 4/15
Knife Kanabec out - 4/20
Medicine Hennepin out - 4/15
Mille Lacs M. Lacs out - 4/29
Minnetonka Hennepin out - 4/19
Minnewashta Carver out - 4/16
Rush Chisago out - 4/19
Waconia Carver out - 4/20
White Bear Ramsey out - 4/19
Name County Status
Sarah Murray out - 4/16
Shetek Murray out - 4/18
South Central
Name County Status
Albert Lea Freeborn out - 4/13
Budd Martin out - 4/11
Clear Waseca out - 4/15
Sakatah Le Seuer out - 4/12
Shields Rice out - 4/15
Swan Nicollet out - 4/14
Name County Status
Pepin Wabasha out - 4/11


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URL: http://climate.umn.edu/doc/ice_out/ice_out_status_01.htm
Last modified: May 4, 2001