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Mirror Lake Ice Cover

Mirror Lake Ice Record

Mirror Lake has one of the the longest ice records in New York State. Residents in the Village of Lake Placid have been recording the ice cover since 1903, with only a handful of years missing since that time. This record has appeared in national publications regarding changes in ice cover. Since 2015, AsRA has taken up the maintenance of this record as part of our ongoing work to study and understand Mirror Lake.

Basic Statistics

Ice On

There has been a significant change in ice on over the period of record. Today, ice on occurs on average 18 days later than it did in 1903. The mean date for ice on for the entire record is December 3rd. The mean since 2000 is December 13th. 

Ice Off

There is no significant change if ice off over the period of record. The mean date for ice off is April 21st.

Duration of Ice Cover

There has been a significant reduction in the duration of ice cover over the period of record. Today, the duration of ice cover is on average 26 days shorter than it was in 1903. The shorter duration of ice cover is driven primarily by later ice on. The mean duration of ice cover over the entire record is 139 days. The mean duration since 2000 is 122 days. The shortest duration of ice cover occurred in 2016, with just 84 days of ice cover. This is 12 days shorter than the next shortest duration, which was 96 days in 2012.

Research has shown that warming water temperatures and prolonged stratification are a threat to Lake Trout across their native range. The changes observed in the Mirror Lake ice record reflect similar changes observed across North America. These changes represent a potential change in the habitat suitability for cold water fish, such as Lake Trout. These changes, along with the interruption of spring turnover due to road salt, are one of several reasons why understanding the ecology of this vitally important lakes is necessary.

Ice Record

The record below was compiled and given to AsRA by Dr. Curt Stager of Paul Smith's College, much of this was provided to Dr. Stager by a book published by Jerome Thaler. There are discrepancies with the record held by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), those are noted in the record. 

  • 1903: Ice Off - 4/2/1903, Ice On - 11/21/1903
  • 1904: Ice Off - 5/3/1904, Ice On - 11/17/1904, Duration - 164
  • 1905: Ice Off - 4/26/1905, Ice On - Not Recorded, Duration - 160
  • 1906: Ice Off - 4/24/1906, Ice On - 12/2/1906, Duration - NA
  • 1907: Ice Off - 5/5/1907, Ice On - 11/16/1907, Duration - 154
  • 1908: Ice Off - 4/26/1908, Ice On - Not Recorded, Duration - 162
  • 1909: Ice Off - 5/5/1909, Ice On - 11/26/1909, Duration - NA
  • 1910: Ice Off - 4/2/1910, Ice On - 11/20/1910, Duration - 127
  • 1911: Ice Off - 5/5/1911, Ice On - 11/23/1911, Duration - 166
  • 1912: Ice Off - 4/26/1912, Ice On - 11/28/1912, Duration - 155
  • 1913: Ice Off - 4/16/1913, Ice On - 12/12/1913, Duration - 139
  • 1914: Ice Off - 4/30/1914, Ice On - 11/23/1914, Duration - 139
  • 1915: Ice Off - 4/23/1915, Ice On - 11/24/1915, Duration - 151
  • 1916: Ice Off - 4/27/1916, Ice On - Not Recorded, Duration - 155
  • 1917: Ice Off - Not Recorded, Ice On - 11/25/1917, Duration - NA
  • 1918: Ice Off - 4/30/1918, Ice On - 12/2/1918, Duration - 156
  • 1919: Ice Off - 4/17/1919, Ice On - 12/3/1919, Duration - 136
  • 1920: Ice Off - 4/26/1920, Ice On - 11/26/1920, Duration - 145
  • 1921: Ice Off - 4/4/1921, Ice On - 12/5/1921, Duration - 129
  • 1922: Ice Off - 4/19/1922, Ice On - 11/22/1922, Duration - 135
  • 1923: Ice Off - 4/29/1923, Ice On - 12/15/1923, Duration - 158
  • 1924: Ice Off - 4/29/1924, Ice On - 12/1/1924, Duration - 136
  • 1925: Ice Off - 4/14/1925, Ice On - 11/27/1925, Duration - 134
  • 1926: Ice Off - 5/7/1926, Ice On - 11/28/1926, Duration - 161
  • 1927: Ice Off - 4/19/1927, Ice On - 12/4/1927, Duration - 142
  • 1928: Ice Off - 5/2/1928, Ice On - 11/28/1928, Duration - 150
  • 1929: Ice Off - 4/9/1929, Ice On - 12/2/1929, Duration - 132
  • 1930: Ice Off - 4/30/1930, Ice On - 11/29/1930, Duration - 149
  • 1931: Ice Off - 4/17/1931, Ice On - 12/6/1931, Duration - 139
  • 1932: Ice Off - 5/2/1932, Ice On - 11/27/1932, Duration - 148
    • NSIDC lists the ice on date as 11/23/1932
  • 1933: Ice Off - 4/24/1933, Ice On - 11/16/1933, Duration - 148
  • 1934: Ice Off - 4/23/1934, Ice On - 12/7/1934, Duration - 158
  • 1935: Ice Off - 4/27/1935, Ice On - 12/5/1935, Duration - 141
  • 1936: Ice Off - 4/15/1936, Ice On - 11/24/1936, Duration - 132
  • 1937: Ice Off - 4/29/1937, Ice On - 12/2/1937, Duration - 156
    • NSIDC lists the ice on date as 11/23/1937
  • 1938: Ice Off - 4/18/1938, Ice On - 12/2/1938, Duration - 137
  • 1939: Ice Off - 5/5/1939, Ice On - 11/20/1939, Duration - 154
    • NSIDC lists the ice on date as 11/15/1939
  • 1940: Ice Off - 5/4/1940, Ice On - 11/29/1940, Duration - 166
  • 1941: Ice Off - 4/19/1941, Ice On - 12/8/1941, Duration - 141
  • 1942: Ice Off - 4/23/1942, Ice On - 12/1/1942, Duration - 136
  • 1943: Ice Off - 5/3/1943, Ice On - 11/24/1943, Duration - 153
  • 1944: Ice Off - 5/3/1944, Ice On - 12/3/1944, Duration - 161
  • 1945: Ice Off - 4/1/1945, Ice On - 12/2/1945, Duration - 119
  • 1946: Ice Off - 3/26/1946, Ice On - 12/16/1946, Duration - 114
    • NSIDC lists the ice off date as 3/27/1946 and ice on as 12/7/1946
  • 1947: Ice Off - 4/2/1947, Ice On - 11/27/1947, Duration - 107
  • 1948: Ice Off - 4/8/1948, Ice On - 12/12/1948, Duration - 133
  • 1949: Ice Off - 4/12/1949, Ice On - 11/27/1949, Duration - 121
  • 1950: Ice Off - 4/27/1950, Ice On - 12/13/1950, Duration - 151
  • 1951: Ice Off - 4/22/1951, Ice On - 12/11/1951, Duration - 130
    • NSIDC lists the ice on date as 11/22/1951
  • 1952: Ice Off - 4/19/1952, Ice On - 12/2/1952, Duration - 130
  • 1953: Ice Off - 4/10/1953, Ice On - 12/17/1953, Duration - 129
  • 1954: Ice Off - 4/21/1954, Ice On - 12/4/1954, Duration - 125
  • 1955: Ice Off - 4/18/1955, Ice On - 12/27/1955, Duration - 135
  • 1956: Ice Off - 5/5/1956, Ice On - 12/1/1956, Duration - 160
  • 1957: Ice Off - 4/21/1957, Ice On - 12/4/1957, Duration - 141
    • NSIDC lists the ice on date as 11/27/1957
  • 1958: Ice Off - 4/24/1958, Ice On - 12/1/1958, Duration - 141
  • 1959: Ice Off - 4/26/1959, Ice On - 11/30/1959, Duration - 146
  • 1960: Ice Off - 4/22/1960, Ice On - 12/9/1960, Duration - 144
    • NSIDC lists the ice on date as 12/4/1960
  • 1961: Ice Off - 5/4/1961, Ice On - 12/2/1961, Duration - 146
  • 1962: Ice Off - 4/28/1962, Ice On - 11/19/1962, Duration - 147
  • 1963: Ice Off - 4/20/1963, Ice On - 12/6/1963, Duration - 152
  • 1964: Ice Off - 4/23/1964, Ice On - 12/2/1964, Duration - 139
  • 1965: Ice Off - 4/28/1965, Ice On - 11/25/1965, Duration - 147
  • 1966: Ice Off - 4/25/1966, Ice On - 12/13/1966, Duration - 151
    • NSIDC lists the ice on date as 12/3/1966
  • 1967: Ice Off - 4/14/1967, Ice On - 11/30/1967, Duration - 122
  • 1968: Ice Off - 4/10/1968, Ice On - 12/1/1968, Duration - 132
  • 1969: Ice Off - 4/28/1969, Ice On - 11/28/1969, Duration - 148
  • 1970: Ice Off - 4/30/1970, Ice On - 12/8/1970, Duration - 153
  • 1971: Ice Off - 5/13/1971, Ice On - 12/3/1971, Duration - 156
  • 1972: Ice Off - 5/12/1972, Ice On - 11/21/1972, Duration - 161
  • 1973: Ice Off - 4/13/1973, Ice On - 12/13/1973, Duration - 143
  • 1974: Ice Off - 4/27/1974, Ice On - 11/28/1974, Duration - 135
  • 1975: Ice Off - 5/7/1975, Ice On - 12/11/1975, Duration - 160
  • 1976: Ice Off - 4/9/1976, Ice On - 12/1/1976, Duration - 120
  • 1977: Ice Off - 4/20/1977, Ice On - 12/5/1977, Duration - 140
  • 1978: Ice Off - 5/9/1978, Ice On - 12/3/1978, Duration - 155
  • 1979: Ice Off - 4/26/1979, Ice On - 12/15/1979, Duration - 144
  • 1980: Ice Off - 4/21/1980, Ice On - 11/17/1980, Duraiton - 128
  • 1981: Ice Off - 4/10/1981, Ice On - 12/5/1981, Duration - 144
    • NSIDC lists the ice on date as 12/1/1981
  • 1982: Ice Off - 4/30/1982, Ice On - 12/10/1982, Duration - 146
  • 1983: Ice Off - 4/12/1983, Ice On - 12/7/1983, Duraiton - 123
    • NSIDC lists the ice on date as 12/3/1983
  • 1984: Ice Off - 4/28/1984, Ice On - 12/20/1984, Duration - 143
    • NSIDC lists the ice on date as 12/1/1984
  • 1985: Ice Off - 4/23/1985, Ice On - 12/6/1985, Duration - 124
  • 1986: Ice Off - 4/8/1986, Ice On - 12/6/1986, Duration - 123
    • NSIDC lists the ice on date as 11/25/1986
  • 1987: Ice Off - 4/13/1987, Ice On - 12/15/1987, Duration - 129
    • NSIDC lists the ice on date as 12/1/1987
  • 1988: Ice Off - 4/11/1988, Ice On - 12/8/1988, Duration - 118
  • 1989: Ice Off - 4/27/1989, Ice On - 11/28/1989, Duration - 140
  • 1990: Ice Off - 4/20/1990, Ice On - 12/8/1990, Duration - 143
  • 1991: Ice Off - 4/10/1991, Ice On - 12/14/1991, Duration - 123
    • NSIDC lists the ice on date as 12/6/1991
  • 1992: Ice Off - 4/29/1992, Ice On - 12/6/1992, Duration - 137
    • NSIDC lists the ice on date as 11/20/1992
  • 1993: Ice Off - 4/27/1993, Ice On - 11/30/1993 Duration - 142
  • 1994: Ice Off - 4/27/1994, Ice On - 12/9/1994, Duraiton - 148
  • 1995: Ice Off - 4/7/1995, Ice On - 11/25/1995, Duration - 119
  • 1996: Ice Off - 4/28/1996, Ice On - 12/21/1996, Duration - 155
    • NSIDC lists the ice on date as 11/27/1996
  • 1997: Ice Off - 4/25/1997, Ice On - 11/28/1997, Duration - 125
    • NSIDC lists the ice on date as 11/25/1997
  • 1998: Ice Off - 4/12/1998, Ice On - 12/23/1998, Duration - 135
    • NSIDC lists the ice on date as 12/18/1998
  • 1999: Ice Off - 4/15/1999, Ice On - 12/19/1999, Duration - 113
  • 2000: Ice Off - 4/21/2000, Ice On - 12/3/2000, Duration - 124
  • 2001: Ice Off - 4/29/2001, Ice On - 12/23/2001, Duration - 147
  • 2002: Ice Off - 4/16/2002, Ice On - 11/30/2002, Duration - 114
    • NSIDC lists the ice on date as 11/28/2002
  • 2003: Ice Off - 4/24/2003, Ice On - 12/4/2003, Duration - 145
    • NSIDC lists the ice off date as 4/26/2003
  • 2004: Ice Off - 4/19/2004, Ice On - 12/15/2004, Duration - 137
  • 2005: Ice Off - 4/14/2005, Ice On - Not Recorded, Duration - 120
  • 2006: Ice Off - 4/12/2006, Ice On - Not Recorded, Duration - NA
  • 2007: Ice Off - 4/25/2007, Ice On - Not Recorded, Duration - NA
  • 2008: Ice Off - 4/21/2008, Ice On - Not Recorded, Duration - NA
  • 2009: Ice Off - 4/12/2009, Ice On - Not Recorded, Duration - NA
  • 2010: Ice Off - 4/8/2010, Ice On - Not Recorded, Duraiton - NA
  • 2011: Ice Off - 4/26/2011, Ice On - 12/18/2011, Duration - NA
  • 2012: Ice Off - 3/23/2012, Ice On - 12/13/2012, Duration - 96
  • 2013: Ice Off - 4/22/2013, Ice On - Not Recorded, Duration - 130
  • 2014: Ice Off - 4/26/2014, Ice On - Not Recorded, Duration -NA
  • 2015: Ice Off - 4/29/2015, Ice On - 1/4/2016, Duration - NA
  • 2016: Ice Off - 3/28/2016, Ice On - 12/11/2016, Duration - 86
  • 2017: Ice Off - 4/16/2017, Ice On - 12/9/2017
    • Ice first formed on entire lake on 11/28/2017, melted on 11/29/2017, refroze on 12/4/2017, melted on 12/5/2017
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