PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Walking or skating on ice-covered lakes and ponds may not seem like a big deal … until it becomes one.
Such a simple task can be quite dangerous if you aren’t aware of the risks.
While the ice may seem thick enough to hold you, the thickness can change depending on where you are in the body of water.
The ice needs to be at least 4 inches thick to support a person, which is what some ponds in Providence are measured at.
For recreational use such as ice skating or walking with multiple people, the ice would have to be 5 inches or thicker.
In Southern New England, our ice doesn’t usually reach a foot or more, which is needed to hold a vehicle.
Ice thickness can vary depending on the body of water and location. Typically, the thickest ice can be found in the center of a pond or lake and it gets thinner as you move away from that, since bodies of water take longer to heat up than the land surrounding it.
Another thing to keep in mind is that while we had a deep freeze recently, its effects won’t last. Daytime temperatures above freezing combined with sunshine will cause the ice to melt and thin out, increasing the risk of falling through it.
Be sure to connect with 12 News Meteorologist Steven Matregrano on social media: