Four Lakes Aerial Ice Checking

Lake Monona froze over in the early morning hours of January 15, 2024. Photo: Ethan Brodsky

On Monday, January 15, Ethan Brodsky, one of our favorite pilots, toured the lakes in Madison. Lake Monona appeared to be completely locked and covered in white frost, which is not snow. We have been blessed with ice due to the brutally cold temperatures. However, we are waiting for the ice to thicken and for the temperatures to be a bit warmer before we start scouting. This is sure to be a topic of discussion during our Wednesday night 4LIYC Zoom meeting.  As always, respect the ice and be safe. 

There’s still plenty of open water near Middleton, but by the “rowboat” definition, Lake Mendota froze last night. Monona is frozen solid – it was was wide open yesterday (January 14.). Lake Wingra is also frozen solid – it had a small open patch in the middle yesterday. I have to laugh at all the people who were predicting the lakes wouldn’t freeze this year. – Ethan Brodsky

Scott Goetz Memorial Postponed & Weather Update

View from Lake Mendota Webcam on January 12, 2024. This is a good thing. Watch the live webcam for ice-making starting Monday.

Southern Wisconsin is currently weathering heavy snow and winds. The blizzard has prompted the postponement of Scott Goetz’s celebration of life, initially scheduled for Saturday, January 13, 2024. The family will likely reschedule when the weather is warmer.

Weather Underground temperature forecast.

We expect very cold weather next week and are hopeful for good ice sailing conditions in the coming days. The good news is that all Madison area lakes are open.  Maybe we’ll have ice like Lake Vanem in Sweden right now, pictured below! Keep your runners sharp, it’s coming to southern Wisconsin.

State of the Lakes

After a week of below-zero temperatures, high winds, and snow, let’s review what Mother Nature left us. The good news is the big lakes were (mostly – see, Mendota) open and missed the snow. The east of Mendota froze on Friday, but as you can see, a large area remained open, at least as of December 24. Monona has an inconsistent freeze with numerous open areas. In other good news, Green Lake and Geneva were liquid as of December 24 and missed the snow.
After a week of bitter cold, the pendulum is swinging back to unseasonable warmth, with possible rain. Will the heat and rain bring the other lakes back online? Stay tuned!
Ice Check Webcams
Mendota Today
MODIS Satellite View
AOS Rooftop Lake Mendota
Lake Geneva Yacht Club
Lake Geneva from Gordy’s

Lake Monona: First Freeze

The good news: Lake Monona froze over on December 19, 2022. The cold temperatures will likely keep it locked, unlike past years when the lake tended to go through freeze-and-thaw cycles.
The let’s wait-and-see news: The National Weather Service is keeping an eye on a system for Thursday and Friday. Maybe the 50 mph winds will push the snow to one side of the lake!
Ice Safety Review

From the NOAA Forecast Discussion
LONG TERM…(Issued 341 AM CST Mon Dec 19 2022)
Sustained winds of 30 to 35 mph, with gusts of 40 to 50 mph are currently expected, with the strongest winds near the Lake Michigan shoreline. With these winds coinciding with the time period of snowfall, am growing more concerned for whiteout conditions and very dangerous travel. Thus, will need to keep an eye on the potential need for any blizzard headlines.

2022-2023 Renegade Newsletter & Ice Making

Tim McCormick and Skip Dieball on Lake Monona at the 2022 ISA championship. Photo: Will Johnston

Two subjects today, but closely intertwined.
One: Via Renegade Secretary Ron Rosten,  2022-2023 Renegade Newsletter

2022 IRIYRA Championship Recap by Skip Dieball
What a fun weekend in Madison Feb 18-20. The collection of iceboating enthusiasts really encompassed the spec-
trum of abilities, which makes the experience so fun. The way folks light up when they have first ride…and the
hardened veterans that tweak their set up. Continue reading

Two: I’m not going out on a limb to predict there will be ice across Wisconsin in the next two weeks. Accuweather says…

Forecasted temperatures in the Four Lakes for the last 2 weeks of December 2022.  Are you ready?