We fish on several lakes on one property. Some lakes are frozen to 3 inches and others are ice free. If it has been below freezing for weeks, why haven't all lakes froze ?


Here are a few reasons from an Ask a Climatologist article on Alaska Public Media.

  • Amount of water in the lake: It takes longer for a deeper lake to release all its heat, therefore it will take longer to freeze over.
  • If the lake is surrounded by trees sunlight is less likely to reach it during the winter.
  • If there is water coming into a lake and leaving the lake from a coldwater stream the lake will freeze sooner because it will take longer for the lake to accumulate heat.
  • $\begingroup$ You could add the topography of the lake bottom. Ice tends to be thinner initially over shallow areas. Also currents will affect how the lake freezes and different lakes could be subject to different wind fetch to remove or add heat to the water and agitate the surface which inhibits freezing $\endgroup$ – haresfur Jan 3 '18 at 0:19
  • $\begingroup$ although this makes sense, we pass a flowing river (Kaskaskia river) that is completely covered in ice. this is in Illinois farmlands, with little elevation changes along the way. it just seems to stand out that some lakes have little-to-no ice, while others are completely covered. $\endgroup$ – fritz Jan 3 '18 at 6:29

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