MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Warmer temperatures over the last couple of weeks have had a big impact on ice thickness across the area. Just a 2-3 weeks ago much of the area was reporting ice of 20-30 inches thick. That dropped to around a foot earlier this week. As of late this week, an ice thickness of 5-10 inches was common.
Ice conditions are quickly becoming poor with open water being reported near shore. Use extreme caution if thinking of venturing out onto the ice. Conditions are expected to continue going downhill over the next week with warmer temperatures remaining.
It's not just melting ice locally as the Great Lakes as a whole have seen a large decrease in ice coverage. As of Thursday, Great Lakes Ice coverage was at 38.2 percent. This is still impressive for this time of year and higher than this time last year. Cooler waters could spell cooler temperatures this Spring for the region. It also sets up the potential of chilly lake breezes come this summer.