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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Ice Out just short of record

Tuesday, April 10, 2001

Spring isn't defined by a calendar in Storm Lake; it doesn't "officially" arrive until Ice Out Day, that day each spring when the lake thaws to the point where one could cross north to south in a boat without touching ice.

The definition of Ice Out Day was set years ago by legendary conservationist Frank Starr and former Pilot publisher Phil Jarnagin, who has kept careful track of the freeze and thaw dates for over half a century.

It might seem that spring came late this year, with Ice Out Day arriving April 8, but the records show that the lake has cleared on that date or later 11 times since 1950. The latest Ice Out Day was April 17, in 1975 and 1979. The earliest was February 22, with the 2000 thaw coming in fourth on the record list at February 26.

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