The ice is out on Lake Minnetonka and White Bear Lake Tuesday.
The Hennepin County Sheriff and Freshwater Society declared Lake Minnetonka ice out, meaning there’s no ice left on the lake, at 1:13 p.m. Tuesday. That’s more than two weeks ahead of the median date of April 14.
White Bear Lake free of ice as of Monday
Twin Cities bellwether White Bear Lake in the northeast Twin Cities is also ice-free. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources lake ice out tracker reported Monday as White Bear Lake’s ice out date.
That’s a full two weeks ahead of the long-term average of April 13. Ice out records for White Bear Lake date back to 1928.
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Recipe for an early ice-out year in Minnesota
We’re seeing the perfect combination of weather ingredients for early ice out in Minnesota this year.
1 heaping tablespoon warm March
Splash of rare March rainfall
Mix in strong sunshine to penetrate ice and warm water from below
Stir with 3 cups of wind
March has been windy. So far 16 days this month have produced wind gusts over 20 mph at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport.
March temperatures are running 8.6 degrees warmer than average in the Twin Cities.
Overall temperatures across Minnesota are about 10 degrees warmer than average this month. It makes for a sea of warm colors on the March temperature departure map.
Ice out moves north
Our warm, rainy, windy March is starting to dissolve ice further north on some lakes in central Minnesota, too. Many lakes in Otter Tail County near Fergus Falls are now ice-free.
Blanche Lake just south of larger Otter Tail Lake shows ice-out Tuesday, too. That’s also more than two weeks ahead of the average date of April 15.
Forecast: More ice out this week
The combination of high winds and warmer temperature by this weekend will take out more lake ice this week. Highs return to the 70s this weekend across southern and western Minnesota.
Expect some bigger lakes to ice out in the coming weeks.