Warm winter closes in on a Storm Lake record

Tuesday, December 18, 2001

The surprisingly mild weather at Storm Lake is closing in on history.

No matter what the calendar might say, the arrival of winter in the community is only official on "ice-over" day - the first time a solid sheet of ice stretched from shore to shore on the lake.

Former Storm Lake Pilot-Tribune publisher and longtime lake watcher Phil Jarnagin kept careful records of the lake's ice-over and thaw dates each season since 1950.

The latest freezing date on his records is December 20, in 1998 - and in fact, he recorded a boater on the lake on December 19 that year. This could be the year for an adventurous sailor to break that record. In 1953, the lake froze on December 18.

Over the years, the lake froze over most often around November 20, with the earliest freeze on November 6, in 1959.

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