When will Lake Mendota freeze over this year? Local experts want you to guess

Ice off for Lake Mendota, state report says
Courtesy Clean Lakes Alliance
File photo

MADISON, Wis. — The Clean Lakes Alliance wants to know when you think Lake Mendota will freeze this winter.

On Wednesday, the organization announced its annual Mendota Freeze contest.

Organizers are asking people to submit their guesses to mendotafreeze.org for a chance to win a $1,000 gift card to Lands’ End.

In the 165 years ice on Lake Mendota has been monitored, the lake has always frozen completely over. However, the date and length of the freeze aren’t very consistent.

Right now, the water in all of Madison’s lakes remains open.

According to Clean Lakes Alliance Marketing and Communications Director Adam Sodersten, that’s to be expected.

The median freeze date isn’t until December 20.

Even then, the freeze date can happen at any point during the winter.

According to data, the earliest freeze was on November 23, 1880. The latest freeze was on January 30, 1932.

Last winter, the freeze was recorded on January 3.

When the lakes will freeze this year is anybody’s guess.