Lake ice goes out on Forest, Clear lakes in FL

An ice-out has been declared in Forest Lake. Lake observer Corbett Johnson and his team of ice watchers set the final ice out time for the Forest Lake chain of lakes at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 18. It’s the earliest ice-out date documented since 1970. First Lake was clear by 3 p.m. with the remaining two lakes in the chain clear of ice by 3:30. Clear Lake was also open on Sunday, but no official ice-out time was available. The ice-out date on the Forest Lake chain is nearly a month earlier than in 2011 when the lake ice cleared on April 13. Two years ago, the lake ice went out on March 31. The early ice-out this year is a result of a warm winter, some unseasonably warm days in March with the temperature well into the 70s and strong southerly winds over the weekend. Johnson said records kept by lake watchers over the past 43 years show the previous earliest ice-out date as March 22 in 1987 and again in 2000.