Winter loosens its grip – Ice Out Soon?

The heavy snow, recent warmth and other weather issues will likely effect the date of Ice-Out on Lake Winnipesaukee, according to lake watchers.

The past winter saw heavy snow, though few days of extreme cold, both factors that could affect the date the ice will be fully out on Lake Winnipesaukee. According to records, the earliest recorded Ice-Out was on March 28, 1921 and the latest Ice-Out was on May 12, 1888.

Dave Emerson of Emerson Aviation has observed the condition of the ice during several flights over the lake.

“It’s going to be maybe slightly later than normal,” Emerson said of Ice-Out, saying it typically occurs the third week of April.

Emerson said the season has not had many below-zero days with the temperatures “in the 20s and we never saw the real wicked cold snap.”

A major factor affecting the ice is the heavy amount of snow and rain that froze over on top of the ice. While he said there had been around 8 inches of ice at Ice-In, there were ice measurements of 16 to 20 inches in the latter part of the winter.

“It was kind of punky ice,” he said, as in not completely frozen yet solid.

The top layer of ice is “reflecting the sun” and not putting the sun on the ice to melt it. A lack of open water is another factor.

“If we get some open water and the wind starts stirring it up, it starts going faster.”

Capt. Jim Morash of the MS Mount Washington predicts Ice-Out will be closer to the end of April. Morash has observed the ice from the winter dock of the Mount Washington in Center Harbor.

“This winter I don’t see when it was as harsh in terms of cold,” Morash said. “Snow doesn’t necessarily turn to ice. I think it acted as an insulator. I think we’ll be right on time.”

The Mount Washington’s first official cruise of the year is scheduled for May 11 with the Mother’s Day cruise.


2 Responses

  1. I found your blog on MSN Search. Nice writing. I will check back to read more.

    Eric Hundin

  2. Thanks Eric … Blog writing is time consuming BUT getting addictive as aquiring pertinent Lakes Region information keeps me abreast of quite a few things I would not normally hear about! Thanks again.

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