The up and down temperatures make ice thickness unsafe for skating on ponds and lakes

WALPOLE, Mass. — The past couple of days have certainly felt like winter again but warmer weather is once again on the way.  The up and down temperatures have made it difficult for lakes and ponds to ice up to a safe thickness.

At first glance, winter looks well underway. But when you are on the ice and listen carefully you can hear the ice still forming as it crackles.  We talked to Dan Ryan and David Melish, who serve as volunteers on the Walpole Ponds Committee.  “Anything under 4 inches you really shouldn’t be on,” said Ryan.

Ryan and Melish help keep close tabs on Turner Pond and right now they say it’s still too thin. They say some skaters are still taking their chances. “The phone does ring off the hook and we just have to say stay patient, the warmer weather is coming, hopefully, we can get back at in a couple of weeks,” said Ryan.

In MA the state prefers you to be on ice that is at least four inches. Here at Turner Pond, they shoot for five inches. Right now the ice is about three inches. “It’s not like that December thing anymore. Now it is more early January into early March,” said Melish.

When the ice does reach 5 inches – scenes like this will be back out on the ice. The group also makes it clear where they measured the depth.  makes it a point to paint a perimeter to show where the ice is thick enough.  “We paint a huge box out here and we will guarantee you that there is 5 inches of within the box,” said Ryan.

9-year-old Brendan Sullivan, who plays hockey on the pond, came down with his Dad to check the ice and they agree – it’s probably a good idea to wait. “What do you think? I don’t think so,” said Sullivan.

The Walpole Ponds Committee says if the temps had stayed the same all week – they would likely have been able to open this weekend. But with the current forecast, it will likely be a couple more weeks.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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