Friday, December 11, 2009

Saturday Special

Soak up the sunshine and milder temperatures today, we certainly deserve it after that Arctic blast. Brr! I think my fingers are finally thawing a bit. Good news, temperatures will stay below freezing for those ponds and lakes to continue making ice. However, a recent report released by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said that "As of Dec. 7, no ice in the state is consistently four inches thick, which is the minimum recommended support the weight of a person." Read the full report here:

The MN DNR reminds us that "That no ice is ever 100% safe"

Some cold facts about ice from the DNR

New ice is usually stronger than old ice. Four inches of clear, newly‑formed ice may support one person on foot, while a foot or more of old, partially‑thawed ice may not.

Ice seldom freezes uniformly. It may be a foot thick in one location and only an inch or two just a few feet away.

Ice formed over flowing water and currents is often dangerous. This is especially true near streams, bridges and culverts. Also, the ice on outside river bends is usually weaker due to the undermining effects of the faster current.

The insulating effect of snow slows down the freezing process. The extra weight also reduces how much weight the ice sheet can support. Also, ice near shore can be weaker than ice that is farther out.

Booming and cracking ice isn’t necessarily dangerous. It only means that the ice is expanding and contracting as the temperature changes.

Schools of fish or flocks of waterfowl can also adversely affect the relative safety of ice. The movement of fish can bring warm water up from the bottom of the lake. In the past, this has opened holes in the ice causing snowmobiles and cars to break through.

Snow Depth Around the State

We got a late start making ice and snow this year with the month of November being one of the least snowy and warmest Novembers on record, but here's the thing... The lack of snow significant snow cover across central and northern Minnesota is helping to build the ice a little faster now that we're in the freezer. Snow acts as an insulator, so the more snow we have, the harder it is to make a thick ice cover quickly. For all the snowmobilers out there, we'll get there one step at a time. Winter is definitely here to stay, so the snow will come - just be patient - you'll be able to get that sled out soon enough.

Todd's Outlook for the Twin Cities

Today: Nicer day of the weekend. Fading sun, clouds increase, a bit milder. High: 23

Tonight: Thickening clouds with flurries or light freezing drizzle late, mainly southeast of the Cities. Low: 19

Sunday: Mix of clouds and sun with sunny breaks midday. Increasing clouds by late afternoon and light snow developing late. High: 23

Monday: Snow showers early, then tapering to flurries by afternoon. Turning much colder again. High: 20 (falling)

Tuesday: Bitter sun, feels like late January again. High: 5

Wednesday: Cold start. Partly cloud. High: 14

Thursday: Partly cloudy and warmer. High: 23

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