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.
Despite this weekend's mild weather, all of #Madison area lakes are #FROZEN! Lake #Mendota froze 12 days earlier than last year, and 5 days ahead of average. Lake #Monona froze 15 days earlier than in 2017, and 4 days ahead of aveage. #wiwx #iceicebaby pic.twitter.com/OqW12DscIR— Dave Caulfield (@DaveCaulfield_) December 17, 2018
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.
🎉 Woohooooo! Congratulations to Amy Lemley for winning this year's #MendotaFreeze contest!! Amy wins a $1,000 gift card from @LandsEnd!— Clean Lakes Alliance (@cleanlakes) December 17, 2018
According to the Wisconsin State Climatology Office, the lake froze over on Saturday, December 15th. https://t.co/p7aeHUWtF3
"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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