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2017 Ice Out Date for Detroit Lakes

2017 Ice Out Date for Detroit Lakes Click to Enlarge Photo:

Apr 10, 2017 at 1:07 pm

DETROIT LAKES, MN--The official Ice-Free date for Detroit Lake happened Friday. According to our local lake ice data-keeper, Dick Heacock, senior adviser to the Pelican River Watershed District, the April 7th date is about 12 days earlier than the long-term average. Heacock posted on his Facebook page Sunday that the earliest ice-free date is March 23; last year the lake was ice-free on March 29th. Heacock added that 2017 exhibited an unusual ice-out period - all of Little Detroit's ice much of the north half of Big Detroit's ice disappeared much earlier in the week. But, he said, large accumulations of ice remained along Big Detroit's South Shore and in Nason Bay for several days. In most years Big Detroit's ice cover disappearance is more dramatic.
2016 saw a late freeze-up of Detroit Lake on December 9th and combined with the early ice-out, Heacock says the 2016/2017 ice-on period was only 130 days, about three weeks shorter than the average. The data indicates the 130-day duration has been shorter in only five other years. The shortest ice season was 110 days in 2000.
Heacock says shorter ice-on periods are becoming more common - in the 107 years of record, seven of the 10 shortest ice-cover years have occurred since 1999. 1920 and 1936 saw the longest ice-durations, both at 184 days.

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