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Lake Mendota is officially iced over, report says

MADISON, Wis. - Despite the warm weather in Madison this weekend, Lake Mendota is officially frozen over, according to a news release from the Clean Lakes Alliance. 

The Wisconsin State Climatology Office requires ice to hold for a period of 24 hours before a lake can officially be declared frozen over. Lake Mendota was officially considered frozen over Saturday. 

It took eight days longer for Lake Mendota, the Yahara Watershed's largest lake, to freeze over in comparison to the smallest lake, Lake Wingra, which froze on Dec. 7. 

This year, Lake Mendota froze 12 days sooner than in 2017. Last year, the lake wasn't frozen over until Dec. 27. The median freeze date is Dec. 20. 

"Though the lakes look solid, don’t be misled -- ice may still be thin," the news release warned. "The Wisconsin DNR recommends waiting for three inches of ice before venturing out, and always walking with a friend. If you plan on ice fishing with friends and gear, at least four inches of ice is best." 

The latest freeze date for Lake Mendota was Jan. 30 -- which happened in the winter of 1932.

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