Minnesota ice still unsafe

December 23, 2011 by  

Despite inaccurate weather forecasts, which suggested winter would be colder than normal, the St. Cloud Times reported that the ice is still unsafe for activities such as skating and ice fishing.

St. Cloud State University’s professor of Earth and atmospheric sciences, Bob Weisman, stated that colder temperatures haven’t come to Minnesota because of an active storm pattern in the southern United States. When asked if St. Cloud would be seeing a white Christmas, Weisman couldn’t say for sure. “That’s the question. There is nothing on the horizon that looks like it,” he said.

Although the city of St. Cloud has warned people to stay off Lake George until further notice, many citizens believe the city should take better steps to warn people of the dangers. Print companies could help by printing large warning posters, which could then be distributed around the lake’s perimeter.

Although there’s never a time when the ice is completely safe, it’s especially dangerous now, according to water safety specialist Tim Smalley. Smalley works for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and believes the ice is particularly dangerous this year. “Ice is never 100 percent safe,” he said, “but there are times when it’s safer than others.”

“In general, lakes and rivers are never safe,” Smalley continued. He also added that nobody should set foot on the ice when the temperature is above 32 degrees and that even when temperatures drop below freezing, people should wait 24 hours before heading out. “[The] ice should be at least four inches thick,” he said.