Photo Friday: Minnesota lakes take their time “icing out”

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Northern Minnesota via satellite, May 2013. Photo: NASA


Northern Minnesota via satellite, May 2009. Photo: NASA


Some lakes in Minnesota are taking their time to thaw this spring, setting new “ice-out” records.

Attributed to unusually cool spring temperatures, this satellite image shows lingering ice and white lake landscapes.

The first photo was captured on May 12, 2013, when NASA’s Terra satellite passed over northern Minn.

“Ice-out” is defined in this context as a lake being free of ice, but the definition often varies.

Some define it based on ease of navigation, while others believe a lake has “iced-out” when it’s 90 percent free of ice, according to a report from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Mille Lacs, the second largest lake in the state, iced out on May 16, breaking the previous record of May 15.

Osakis Lake was free of ice on May 13, a day shy of breaking a 144-year record. The last time ice remained on the lake past May 13 was in 1950.

To see what the lakes look like on a more typical year, consult the second image from May 2009.

2 thoughts on “Photo Friday: Minnesota lakes take their time “icing out”

  1. Conservatively, colder winters are associated with ice sheets the “size of Texas” breaking off at the poles.

  2. In liberal speak, the late ice out in Minnesota and the overall cold spring across the Midwest is a sure sign of Global Warming.


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