Ice Safety Warning 05 Jan 12

Forecasted temperatures in the 40s and 50s across southern Minnesota this week have the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources again asking residents to be careful if heading out on area ice. The DNR says that ice thickness guidelines become unreliable once the temp gets above 32 degrees, and that snowmobiles, ATVs and other vehicles should stay off the ice until temps drop below 32 degrees for at least 24 hours. Even if the ice seems thick enough, temperature and other factors such as currents, wind, water chemistry and wildlife can impact the relative safeness of ice. Authorities suggest contacting a local bait shop or resort for ice reports on a specific lake and frequently checking ice thickness while out on the lake.