Ice-out dates from 29 lakes in New England (USA) with 64 to 163 years of record through 2000 have been assembled and analyzed (Hodgkins and James, 2002; Hodgkins and others, 2002; Hodgkins and others, 2005). Twenty-two of these lakes were in Maine, four in New Hampshire, and three in Massachusetts. This web page provides all of the historical lake ice-out data for these lakes and updates most the lakes through 2005. All of the dates are listed as Julian dates. Julian dates are a sequential numbering of days, for each year, beginning on January 1. As an example, February 1 is Julian date 32. March 1 is Julian date 60 in a non-leap year and Julian date 61 in a leap year.
Lake ice-out dates, or the dates of ice break-up, are the annual dates in spring when winter ice cover leaves a lake. A remarkable amount of lake ice-out data have been recorded and saved in New England over the past two centuries. For some lakes in New England, such as Moosehead Lake in Maine, ice-out dates were important for local steamship transportation. Data from other lakes, for example Richardson Lake, Maine, were important for annual log drives. Individuals have collected and saved extensive data because of general curiosity and community interest. For Damariscotta and West Grand lakes in Maine, the same family has been collecting ice-out data for three generations.
Hodgkins, G.A. and James I.C. II, 2002, Historical ice-out dates for 29 lakes in New England: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 02-34, 32 p.
Hodgkins, G.A., James, I.C., and Huntington, T.G., 2002, Historical changes in lake ice-out dates as indicators of climate change in New England, 1850-2000: International Journal of Climatology, v. 22, p. 1819-1827.
Hodgkins, G.A., James, I.C., and Huntington, T.G., 2005, Historical changes in lake ice-out dates as indicators of climate change in New England, 1850-2000: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet FS 2005-3002.
Ice-out on Sebago Lake, Maine, spring 1985