Officials urge ice safety amidst warm December weather

Image 1 of 2

This weekend featured a pair of December days for the books, but when you have consecutive days of above freezing temperatures, ice conditions are unpredictable. 

In fact, safety officials say that ice formed during last week's cold snap is quickly deteriorating. 

“Usually, it’s below zero; you can barely feel your face and toes, so you have to get out and enjoy it,” said Alex Meier.

“It’s nice to have the sunshine, it was a really cloudy fall,” said Jenny Ekeren-Holm, of Eden Prairie. “And it’s just nice to be outside.

So nice that those fishing did it without cover.

“It’s nice because we don’t have to set up our house and sit in the warm, we can just fish all over,” said Eli Parmenter, of Chaska.

While the date on the calendar may say it’s safe on Minnesota lakes, the weather says otherwise.

“I saw those guys out there, so they look like they are doing alright, but we’re not going to venture quite out that far,” said Jeff Holm, of Eden Prairie.

With temperatures constantly fluctuating between above and below freezing, officials warn ice conditions can be deceiving. When the top layer of snow warms, ice can be more dangerous to navigate with vehicles. 

The Minnesota DNR suggests checking ice thickness at least every 150 feet to make sure appearances don’t fool you.

“We’re going to stay close to shore,” said Holm.

It's a good reminder that you need a minimum of four inches of solid, clear ice to be on foot, but if ice has been through the freeze/thaw cycle, the DNR says you need even more.