Ice Out Summary: 2012

2012 will go down as more of the more memorable early ice out seasons in Minnesota history. Many lakes in the state set new ice out records, including lakes that have ice out data for 75 years or more. The lakes that lost their ice first in Minnesota were Iowa and Hall in Martin County on March 12. The last lakes to lose their ice were Lake of the Woods, Rainy Lake, and Greenwood Lake during the second week of April.

The ice out season surged northward quickly with the record setting warm March 2012, whose temperatures eclipsed past historical warm Marches like 1878 and 1910. In the Twin Cities the average temperature finished at 48.3 degrees, handily breaking the old record of 45.0 degrees set in 1910. The only thing that prevented virtually all the lakes to lose their ice in March across the state was a cool down over northern Minnesota for the last week of March, including a modest snowstorm.

Here are some of the larger lakes that have set new records in 2012.


Lake Name        County         New Record      Old Record       Period of Record 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
White Bear Lake  Ramsey/Wash    March 19, 2012  March 21, 2000   85 years 
Minnewaska       Pope           March 21, 2012  March 23, 2000   107 years
Green            Kandiohi       March 20, 2012  March 22, 1987   83 years
Mille Lacs       Mille Lacs     March 26, 2012  April 2, 2000    56 years
Big Sandy        Aitkin         March 26, 2012  March 31, 2000   59 years
Bemidji          Beltrami       April 2, 2012   April 6, 2010    76 years
Leech            Cass           April 2, 2012   April 6, 2010    77 years
Vermilion        St. Louis      April 2, 2012   April 6, 2010    93 years