We had an early cold spell in Northern Vermont that created a lot skateable but dicey ice. It looks like nobody fell through but there was no shortage of places to do so. The following is a review of what we found as a way to present many of the wonderful and less than wonderful aspects of early ice.
We have been skating on three ponds in Northern New York (Russet, Bartlett and Lincoln ponds) north of Mineville and a few other areas in Vermont. The following is the temperature history for Burlington VT. The temperature at the New York ponds was about 5 degrees colder.
Graph from Weatherunderground.com. The ice caught on the 18th or 19th with a few to many new-ice holes. Most of the ice was type S2 (small gain size). This was most likely related to falling snow seeding the primary ice although it was windy enough to generate lake frazil as well. We skated on Russett pond on the 22nd on ice that ranged from 37 mm up to about 50 mm (2").