This year will go down as having one of the latest ice out dates in history for Lake Sakakawea. With the exception of a few small areas in bays and along shorelines, the reservoir remained covered in ice Monday.
May 6 of 1996 and 1997 ranked as the third-latest dates since the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began keeping records in 1962. Second on the list is May 14, 1970. The latest date the Corps declared Lake Sakakawea ice free was May 17, 1979.
Despite recent warm temperatures and a forecast of more warm days ahead, estimates vary on when the ice will disappear from Lake Sakakawea. Ice conditions appear to favor removal of the ice pack later this week, particularly if aided by high winds, but evening temperatures are forecast to remain in the 30s this week.