UPDATE: Due to the awesome amount of interest this post has generated, we thought we’d share last year’s more in-depth look at the late freeze AND a post on flu season and Lake Wingra to inject a bit more science into the proceedings! For the post you were linked to, read on:
This Monday, I walked past the over-wintering hulls of the Hoofers sailboats and thought to myself, “that lake sure looks frozen to me.” Well, self, good call.
The Wisconsin State Climatologist has officially declared January 14th, 2013 as the “ice on” date for Lake Mendota this winter season. (Monona had already succumbed to winter temps on New Year’s Eve and Wingra, as always, froze the earliest on December 21st). And that means CFL director, Steve Carpenter, and facilities manager, Dave Harring, are winners of the annual Hasler Lab ice-on pool!
Surprisingly, Mendota’s freeze occurred on the exact same day as last year’s freeze, a feat rarely, if ever, seen in the 150 year dataset of ice on dates.
We could go into long explanations of what these late freezes are saying about our changing climate, but you probably already know that freeze dates are getting later and ice is coming off sooner. Besides, a late freeze wasn’t exactly unexpected with 2012 being the warmest year on record in the U.S. and all.
So, instead of the climate change lecture, we’ll remind you that a frozen lake is a beautiful thing with a few pictures and one random video of the awesome “Star Trek phaser-like” noise of a rock skidding across smooth ice – your daily moment of Zen, if you will. Enjoy.
And, finally, the distinct chirp/twang of skipping rocks on new ice. (We recommend volume up or headphones on!)