Staying safe on the ice with Michigan’s unpredictable weather

Published: Dec. 30, 2022 at 6:45 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - It’s hard to believe Mid-Michigan is experiencing 50-degree days after the bitter Christmas cold.

As with the freezing temperatures, the warm-up comes with its own danger. Due to Michigan’s unpredictable weather, ice on any body of water is potentially dangerous. If you plan on fishing, skating or playing hockey, you have to know when you can go out on the ice and when to stay off it.

While some are happy to see the ice and snow melt away, others are bummed they can’t be out on area lakes.

With temperatures in the 50s, Delta Township fire captain Steve Funk said the ice is not safe.

“You know it 55 degrees out or warmer today,” Funk said. “It was 55 when I got up at 5 o’clock this morning. That ice is wearing away from the top.”

Less than a week ago, temperatures were below freezing and ice fisher Joe Saur saw people out enjoying the ice.

“We had, I don’t know, 10 or so neighbor kids playing hockey on the rink three or four houses down here,” Saur recalled.

After several days of unseasonably warm temperatures, the ice has turned into water.

“You need at least four inches of ice to safely hold you up if you’re going to go venture out on the ice,” Funk said.

Saur said the conditions on the ice are unpredictable currently.

“Just because it’s safe in one spot doesn’t mean it’s going to be safe 20 yards out,” Saur said.

Both said it will take an extended stretch of cold weather to make it safe again to get back out on the ice.

If you see someone or a pet fall through the ice, call 911. If you fall through the ice, remain calm and try to get out of the ice from the same direction where you came from.

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