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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Earliest ‘ice out’ declared on Lake Winnipesaukee

CONCORD (AP) – New Hampshire’s unique hallmark of spring – ice-out on Lake Winnipesaukee – has been declared, the earliest on record.

Ice-out signals when the M.S. Mount Washington cruise ship can leave its Meredith winter dock and travel the state’s largest lake unimpeded by ice floes.

Before Friday’s announcement, the earliest recorded ice-out was in 2010, when it was called March 24. Before that, the earliest ice-out recorded was March 29, 1921. The latest ice-out was called May 12, 1887.

Ice-out is determined by air from by Emerson Aviation.

The Mount Washington’s first public cruise is the annual Mother’s Day. Each year, the 230-foot boat offers daily scenic cruises as well as evening dinner and dance cruises from the ship’s summer homeport of Weirs Beach.