The word went out yesterday, and despite our calendar having told us that it's been officially Spring for a week, now we really know spring has sprung in Minnesota.

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And that's because it's official: KARE-11 reports the ice is out on Lake Minnetonka. Seeing as our own Silver Lake never ices completely over in the winter, we have to look a little further north to get a vibe on when the ice is finally gone from Minnesota lakes.

And, sure enough, ice-out was declared on the Twin Cities’ Lake Minnetonka yesterday. Now while that's a good sign, it's nearly 10 days later than last year's way early ice-out date of March 17th.  And even though it's not as early as last year, the median date for ice-out on the lake is April 14th, so we’re still well ahead of the average this year.

Back when I worked in Wisconsin, I lived near Lake Wissota, which is located just east of Chippewa Falls. I’d drive around the big lake everyday on my way into the radio stations in Eau Claire, and I was always curious to see when the ice-out would happen.

I apparently wasn’t organized enough to note when it did occur, because I don’t have any official notes, but I was still fond of noticing when the ice was out– because that was a sure sign warmer weather wasn’t too far off.

Of course, just because ice-out was declared on Lake Minnetonka doesn’t mean the ice is out on every Minnesota Lake. Certainly, lakes farther north are no doubt still ice-covered. The Minnesota DNR has a full index of ice-out dates on lakes throughout the state HERE.