Friday, May 24, 2013
Tanana River Ice is Thinnest in Five Years
Nenana Ice Classic officials measured the Tanana River ice in Nenana on Tuesday and the ice is the thinnest it's been at this time of year since 2006.
FAIRBANKS - Nenana Ice Classic officials measured the Tanana River ice in Nenana on Tuesday and the ice is the thinnest it's been at this time of year since 2006.
The ice was 38.3 inches thick. It was the first measurement of 2011.
Last year, the ice was 44 inches thick on Feb. 3 and in 2009, the first measurement on Feb. 5 was 42.5 inches thick. The ice went out on April 29 and May 1, respectively, those two years.
The last time the ice was this thin for this date was 2006 when it was measured at 35 inches on Feb. 9. The ice went out on May 2 that year.
According to past ice measurements, which are available on the Ice Classic website (www.nenanaakiceclassic.com), the ice typically grows 5 to 10 inches between now and the peak measurement, which usually occurs in late March.
"It's going to get thicker," Ice Classic manager Cherrie Forness said. "It should still grow quite a bit."
Tickets for the 95th annual Ice Classic went on sale Feb. 1 and will be sold through April 5. The deadline to submit tickets is midnight April 5.
The Ice Classic is one of Alaska's oldest springtime traditions. Thousands of people pay $2.50 per ticket to guess the exact time - to the minute - that a tripod set up on the Tanana River ice will move and stop a clock it is connected to on shore.
Last year, more than 234,000 tickets were sold. Three winners who guessed the ice would go out at 9:06 a.m. Alaska Standard Time on April 29 split a jackpot of $279,030. Each winner received $93,010 before taxes.
Contact staff writer Tim Mowry at 459-7587.
Early ice measurements
Ice measurements of the Tanana River ice taken the last six years at around this time of year, with the breakup date listed in parenthesis.
Feb. 8, 2011 - 38.3'' (???????)
Feb. 3, 2010 - 44'' (April 29)
Feb. 5, 2009 - 42.5'' (May 1)
Feb. 15, 2008 - 41.0'' (May 5)
Feb. 7, 2007- 42.0'' (April 27)
Feb. 9, 2006 - 35.0'' (May 2)
Feb. 8, 2005 - 35.0'' (April 28)