Ice Out | New Hampshire Public Radio

Ice Out

Emerson Aviation view of Lake Winnipesaukee ice out
Emerson Aviation

This week's ice-out on Lake Winnipesaukee is part of a trend toward earlier spring thaws in New Hampshire due to climate change.

The lake was declared ice-free and navigable by boat on Monday, April 5. It's about two weeks earlier than the average ice-out date over the past hundred-plus years.

Cori Princell / NHPR

The state is out with a first-of-its-kind report on the health of New Hampshire’s lakes, showing the effects of climate change, population growth and a decline in acid rain.

The report takes a comprehensive look at water quality trends from the past few decades or longer in 150 of the state’s lakes and ponds monitored by volunteers and state biologists.

Emerson Aviation / Facebook

It’s the unofficial start of spring in New Hampshire – as Lake Winnipesaukee has been declared ice-free.

In keeping with tradition, a spotter plane with Emerson Aviation made the call Monday morning.

The lake is considered “iced out” when all the ports for the cruise boat Mount Washington are ice-free – in Alton Bay, Weirs Beach, Center Harbor, Meredith and Wolfeboro.

This year’s ice-out comes earlier than average. It follows a mild winter, when the ice runway on the lake was unable to open safely.

Weirs Cam / Winnipesaukee.com

New Hampshire's frozen lakes and ponds are starting to thaw as winter winds down, and state officials want citizens to send in their observations of local "ice out" dates.

Emerson Aviation

Wednesday marked "ice-out" on Lake Winnipesaukee – the day when the cruise boat Mount Washington can safely reach all of its ports.

It's pretty standard timing for this traditional sign of spring. But overall, state records say New Hampshire lakes and ponds may be thawing earlier as temperatures warm.

Sean Hurley

 

It's another sign of spring in New Hampshire: Lake Winnipesaukee is ice-free.

Dave Emerson, of Emerson Aviation, made the declaration Wednesday morning. Emerson's family has been tasked with declaring "ice out" since 1979.

Ice Out is declared when the 230-foot MS Mount Washington, a cruise boat, can make it to every one of its ports: Center Harbor, Wolfeboro, Alton, Weirs Beach and Meredith.

Emerson Aviation

 

"Ice-out" was officially declared on Lake Winnipesaukee on Thursday, in another traditional sign of springtime.

The yearly marker occurs when the M/S Mount Washington tourist boat can safely travel between its ports on the state's largest lake without encountering ice.

Emerson Aviation made the call at 5:40 p.m. Thursday during a flight.

Last year's "ice-out" came on April 17. It was March 18 in 2016, the earliest recorded "ice-out" for the lake, and the first one declared in the winter season.

Ice-out generally occurs the third week of April.

Historic Ice-Out Of Winnipesaukee Expected

Apr 4, 2014
Rimager via Flickr Creative Commons

The man who officially declares the annual ice-out of Lake Winnipesaukee says this year’s announcement could be a record-setter.

Dave Emerson of Emerson Aviation in Gilford said this winter’s cold and snow may mean it’s early May before he can declare what some consider the official start of the New Hampshire summer season.