But according to ice safety experts, no matter how low the temperature gets, or how late in the season it is, the ice is never safe.And watch out for the white stuff. It can be deceiving, as we continue to read:
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The Department of Natural Resources recommends staying off ice less than 2 inches thick. Ice can be walked on at 4 inches, snowmobiled on at 5 inches, and support a car of small truck at 8 inches. Medium trucks should wait until the ice thickness reaches 12-15 inches.
These guidelines are for new, clear ice --- white ice is considered half as strong, and ice thickness recommendations should therefore be doubled.
The snow cover, which some seem to think helps the ice form, actually insulates the lake, inhibiting ice formation.And don't forget these informational tidbits:
Snow also can cause ice to be less stable, as the weight of the snow presses down on the freshly formed ice.
Eric Schettler, local conservation officer for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, said the snow can cause the lake to flood --- pushing water up through cracks or fishing holes. The water then begins a freezing/thawing cycle that creates "rotten ice."
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Schettler said since water freezes from the bottom up, the water moving under the ice can easily chip away at the thickness.
- a vehicle being drive on ice causes waves, just like a boat
- parking vehicles together on the ice can cause them to sink.