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Ice-Out Update: April 3, 1998

Today's Ice-Out Data

Click on map to enlarge

The big thaw continues moving further north each day. Take a look at today's ice-out data and map for the latest "melt down" locations. Also, an early Ice-Out has been reported today at the third of our Official Ice-Out Observation Posts, Lake Minnetonka!

Thanks to everyone for contributing ice-out data.
Remember: When ice-out occurs on your local lake, pond, river or ocean, please report to Journey North:

Report the Ice-Out Date of Your Local Waters

Lake Minnetonka Announces Early Ice-Out!

Official 1998 Ice-out Date
April 3rd @ 3:33pm

Ice-Out has been reported today at the third of our Official Ice-Out Observation Posts, Lake Minnetonka!

Located just outside the Journey North Headquarters, this is another early ice-out date, as the ice went out on the same date in 1995. Ice-out records have been kept for this lake for 111 years, and earlier ice-out dates have occurred only 9 times in this entire 111 year history:

Early Ice-Out Dates for Lake Minnetonka

1987 March 21
1981 March 27
1946 April 1
1938 April 2
1921 April 2
1911 April 1
1905 April 2
1902 April 1
1889 April 1

Lake Minnetonka is just one lake in the "Land of 10,000 Lakes". So, observers in the northern states should keep a keen eye for the loons to flood in as the waters open! Please be sure to report the FIRST loon you see to Journey North.

Responses To Challenge Question # 4

Our thanks to the hardworking ice-out prognosticators who chiseled out these predictions and answers to Challenge
Question # 4 about Lake Minnetonka:

"When do you predict ice-out of Lake Minnetonka will occur in Spring, 1998? Do you see a correlation between el Nino years and early ice-out dates? Is the earth warming? Do the 111 years of ice-out data from Lake Minnetonka support the global warming theory?"

New York teacher Jeanne Monteau's students worked very hard on this question:
"I gave this challenge question to a number of students. It was interesting to see the various strategies used and conclusions reached. Clare and her Dad made a graph showing the number of days between January 1 and 'ice-out' for each year and noted the the strong and very strong El Nino years."

"Based on the moving average, they conclude that ice-out will occur on Lake Minnetonka approximately 105 days past Jan. 1, or on April 16, 1998. Many other students using different methods reached the same conclusion."

"Some El Nino years had late ice-out days and some had early ice-out days. It may be that El Nino does not have an effect on places so far north."

"From 1948 to 1984, the average ice-out date was greater that the average of all years (102.5). We had a long stretch of colder weather from 1948 to 1984. From 1903 to 1913, and from 1926 to 1934, the average ice-out days were less (warmer) than the average of all years. We just finished a short stretch of warm weather from 1985 to 1993 but the average is getting longer (colder)."

The graph does not show a clear indication of global warming." Jeanne Monteau <>

Another classroom provided this prediction:
"We predict that the ice on Lake Minnetonka will melt on April 6, 1998."
Ann Min

News from Official Ice-out Observation Post
Tikigaq School on the Chukchi Sea

To: Journey North
From: Sheila Gaquin
Date: March 30, 1998

There is still no change in the ice on the Chukchi Sea. I have attached a photo of the village of Point Hope from the air that was taken with a digital camera yesterday. The dark line on the left of the photo is a ridge line that follows the beach, beyond that line to the left and top of the photo is the sea ice. As you can see, the ground, and the ocean are one at this time of year. Its not a great photo--the plane window kept fogging up.

Sheila Gaquin
Tikigaq School(say Tick'-key-yock)
Point Hope, AK
Tikigaq WWW Site

Reminders: Challenge Question #1 and #5

Challenge Question # 1
"When do you predict ice-out will occur on the Chukchi Sea near Point Hope, Alaska?"

Challenge Question #5
"What word do you think accurately completes this sentence? 'The ice typically leaves the Rankin Inlet in early ______ and comes back in any time from late October to mid-November.'?"

How to Respond to Today's Challenge Questions

1. Address an e-mail message to:

2. In the Subject Line of your message write: Challenge Question # 1 (or #5)

3. In the body of your message, answer ONE of today's questions.

The Next Ice-Out Update will Be Posted on April 17, 1998.

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