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Lake City, MN (KROC-AM News) - It may not look like spring outside, but an occurrence this weekend is a sure sign that it is coming soon.

Numerous social media posts showed two river tows pushing barges through Lake Pepin on Saturday, marking the start of the 2023 shipping season on the upper Mississippi River. As of Saturday night, the Neil N. Diehl and the Philip M. Pfeffer were just past Lake City and still pushing through the ice at 1.5 knots.

Late last week the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported areas of open water on Lake Pepin. The most recent measurements, which were taken on March 6, showed the ice was still more than 20 inches thick in some areas, although nearly half of it was more porous "white ice."

The shipping season is starting early this year. The average date for the first commercial vessel to navigate Lake Pepin each year is March 20th. The earliest start was March 4, which has occurred three times over the past 40 years.

LOOK: The most extreme temperatures in the history of every state

Stacker consulted 2021 data from the NOAA's State Climate Extremes Committee (SCEC) to illustrate the hottest and coldest temperatures ever recorded in each state. Each slide also reveals the all-time highest 24-hour precipitation record and all-time highest 24-hour snowfall.

Keep reading to find out individual state records in alphabetical order.


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