Early Ice-Out on Lake Winnipesaukee This Year?Posted on March 16th, 2012 No comments
This winter has been extremely mild, and the thickness of the ice on Lake Winnipesaukee was questionable for much of the season. In fact, the annual Pond Hockey Classic moved to Lake Waukewan, a smaller nearby lake, due to concerns about the safety of the ice for the hundreds of people that would be on the lake at once. The big question on everyone’s mind now is, will the milder temperatures this winter bring a record-breaking early “ice-out” this spring?
“Ice-Out” on Lake Winnipesaukee occurs when the ice that has covered the lake all winter melts enough to allow the M/S Mount Washington cruise ship to navigate to all of its stops in Alton Bay, Center Harbor, Weirs Beach, Meredith, and Wolfeboro. As the traditional, unofficial start of the spring season, this event is greatly anticipated by locals and visitors alike. Many Islanders regain water access to their cottages, and boaters are free to explore the lake.
The exact date and time of Ice-Out has been observed and recorded for over 120 years. It is a non-scientific process, and is now determined by an observer in a small plane from Emerson Aviation that flies over the lake several times a day. When the pilot makes the Ice-Out call, it is considered official. Most years, Ice-Out occurs mid-late April. The earliest date on record was only two years ago, when March 24th saw the official Ice-Out call. Last year, it was Tuesday, April 19th, at 8:20 am. The Ice-Out Guess Contest is now closed to new guesses, but everyone is eagerly awaiting the results.
What’s your guess for Ice-Out on Lake Winnipesaukee?
Mill Falls Blogging Team
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