Madison lakes officially froze over this week, climatologists say

Man, woman, 3 dogs rescued from ice on Lake Waubesa

After a warm start to the winter, Lake Mendota officially froze over this week, according to a release from the Clean Lakes Alliance.

After a cold front earlier this week sent temperatures below zero, Lyle Anderson, with the Wisconsin State Climatology Officer, said conditions were right for instant ice.

“Residents may have noticed a steam fog hanging over the lakes, created when cold air moves over warmer water,” the release said.

Lake Mendota and Lake Monona had full ice cover by Monday, which had to hold for at least 24 hours before being declared the official “ice on” date,” officials said. Lake Wingra froze on Dec. 30.

According to the release, the lakes are frozen, but the ice is still thin.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recommends waiting for three inches of ice before going out onto the ice and at least four inches of ice if you plan on ice fishing with gear.