Document Type


Publication Title

Limnology and Oceanography



Rights and Access Note

This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. In addition, no permission is required from the rights-holder(s) for educational uses. For other uses, you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Publication Date


Publisher location

Hoboken, NJ, USA

First Page


Last Page


Issue Number


Volume Number


Abstract/ Summary

In recent decades, Maine lakes have recorded their earliest ice-out dates in over a century. In temperate regions, seasonal lake ice-cover is a critical phenomenon linking climate, aquatic ecosystem and society. And the lengthening of the ice-free period due to warmer climate has been linked to increased algal growth and declining lake water quality, warming of water temperatures leading to alterations in aquatic biodiversity, and the shortening of ice-fishing period and other traditional winter activities over lakes. In this study, historical record of eight lakes and six benchmarked meteorological stations in Maine for the period 1950–2010 were analyzed to (1) investigate the relationship between antecedent winter (January–February) temperatures, degree-day variables, and spring-time ice breakup dates, including the identification of thresholds and (2) determine the influence of the extreme phases of select atmospheric teleconnection patterns (Tropical Northern hemisphere- TNH and North Atlantic Oscillation- NAO) on the winter degree-day quantities and spring ice-out dates. The influence of antecedent winter degree-days on spring ice-out dates was characterized by determining the threshold winter accumulated freezing and melting degree-day (AFDD and AMDD), the exceedance (non-exceedance) of which engenders early (late) spring ice-out dates. Statistical analysis between teleconnection indices and winter AFDD and/or AMDD quantities for Maine revealed an asymmetric relationship. Strongly negative phases of TNH and, to a lesser extent, positive phases of NAO are linked with spatial and temporal pattern of early spring ice breakup events in Maine lakes. These relationships taken together with observed warming trends have the potential to accelerate the decline in water quality in Maine lakes.

Citation/Publisher Attribution

Beyene, M. T. and S. Jain (2015), Wintertime weather-climate variability and its links to early spring ice-out in Maine lakes. Limnology and Oceanography Volume 60, Issue 6, Pages 1855–2235. doi: 10.1002/lno.10148

Publisher Statement

© 2015 Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography


DOI: 10.1002/lno.10148


publisher's version of the published document

Included in

Climate Commons



Rights Statement

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.