Updated 01/07/2013 08:03 AM
Warmer temperatures mean unpredictable ice conditions
Weather reports say higher temperatures are on the way this week, a drastic change from this past Thursday when we saw temperatures hover right around freezing. YNN's Madeleine Rivera tells us how this can affect ice conditions and how you can protect yourself.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- YNN meteorologists say temperatures this week could easily reach in the 40s. That's well above average for this time of year. Good news for many. But for those who like to get out in the winter elements, you could run into some thin ice.
"Everyone tells us that the ice is not safe yet to go out on recreationally. It's not been cold enough long enough," said Chief Frank Nerney of the Pinebush Station in Albany.
Just last week, a hiker was rescued after he fell through the ice in Normanskill Creek. And with temperatures rising, officials are warning that ice conditions could be unsafe.
According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, three inches of ice should be abe to support a group of people if they walk single file. But, the city of Albany has set its own standards before allowing people to set foot on its posted ponds.
"Here in Albany, we don't allow people on the ice until we have six inches of ice. That way, we feel it's strong enough to hold most folks out there on the ice," said Nerney.
Here's a few more tips. Nerney says moving water, like creeks and rivers, are unsafe because they have a harder time freezing. Also, watch the ice on the edges of the water- it tends to be less thick since water is warmer toward the shore. If you're still unsure, be on the look-out for posted signs advising that a body of water is safe.
And, if you fall through the ice?
"Move slowly. The ice is fragile. Try and get your whole body onto the ice if you can. Yell and scream for help as soon as you can," said Nerney.
Nerney also suggests using a buddy system. Or, better yet, trust those posted signs.