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 2007 information obtained from
this informal poll. The table is updated on Mondays. Here is a description of how lake ice melts.
On clear days, it is possbile to discern ice-covered lakes from satellite imagery. A
satellite image from 11:32 AM, Thursday, April 12 shows that lakes south of a line
from Alexandria to Hinckley are mostly free of ice (see:
latest satellite image).
With the last stubborn ice leaving Rainy Lake and Saganaga on May 4th, all lakes in Minnesota are now free of ice.