We have had some very unusual temperature fluctuations over the last couple of months as winter has settled into the midwest.

Winter 2021-2022 Has Been Anything But Typical

With the weird temperatures, December brought severe weather over portions of Western Kentucky leaving communities devastated. We have seen snow and ice just last weekend with the mercury measuring in the single digits.

We Could See Snow This Weekend - Or Not

As I sit at my desk now to write this, it is nearly 50 degrees outside but by the time Saturday and Sunday roll around, the highs will be in the mid-30s and the lows well below freezing in the 20s. There is even potential for some significant snowfall... possibly.

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Cold Temps and Snow Could Mean Ice

With the threat of cold and potentially snowy weather on the way, it seems like a good time to remind you of the safety precautions surrounding ice - more specifically ice on bodies of water like lakes, streams, and ponds.

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"No Ice is Safe Ice"

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources reminds Hoosiers that "no ice is safe ice." The Department of Natural Resources also encourages parents to remind their children of the dangers of playing on or near icy bodies of water, especially without supervision.

Every year, drownings happen from falling through ice. As the temperatures in the state drop below freezing, bodies of water like lakes, streams, and ponds - even the Ohio River - can start to have a layer of ice form over the top.

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Exploring the Ice May Be Exciting But It Can Be Deadly

That ice can bring with it the thrill and excitement of recreational activities but as fun as they may seem, those same activities can be incredibly dangerous. According to the Indiana DNR, activities like "ice fishing, skating, hiking, or just sliding around for fun" while ordinarily fun and exciting, have the potential to be deadly.

Indiana DNR says that "no ice is safe ice."

If you don’t know the thickness of the ice, don’t go on it. Measure the thickness of ice using an ice auger. Solid ice should measure 4 inches or more for walking.

Never Go Onto Ice Alone

They go on to advise that you should avoid ever going out onto ice alone and if you do venture onto the ice, you should wear a life jacket and carry ice hooks with you as a precaution.

Children Should Never Be Left Unsupervised

You should also be certain that your children know these safety tips before being allowed to play on any frozen body of water. Of course, this kind of winter play should always include adult supervision.

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

How Deep is Deep Enough?

If you are unfamiliar with exploring iced bodies of water, the Indiana DNR outlines how thick the ice needs to be for various activities like ice fishing and snowmobiling. Did you know that anything less than 4 inches of ice that is "clear like you get out of your freezer" just isn't thick enough?

One inch of ice Stay Off!!!
Four inches of ice
Needed for safe ice fishing
Five inches of ice
Needed for snowmobiling
Eight inches of ice
Needed to support the weight of a car or light truck
Ten inches of ice Needed to support a medium weight truck

Make Sure You Measure

Before you head out on the ice, you should also know that ice thicknesses change. While one area of a lake or pond may be thick enough to be safe, another area of the same body of water may be much thinner and more treacherous.
Again, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources warns, "no ice is safe ice" so it may be safest just to stay off the ice entirely.
[Source: In.gov/DNR]

10 Must-Have Items To Keep In Your Car This Winter Just In Case

You never know when you might find yourself stranded on the side of the road during the cold winter months, and these ten items could make all the difference. They might even save your life.
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Stock Up on These Winter Essentials Before It Snows

Winter is coming! Before you get caught with three feet of snow and no snowsuit, make sure that you have the essentials to get thru this winter and stay warm!
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KEEP READING: Get answers to 51 of the most frequently asked weather questions...

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