Is it safe enough to step on ice right now? Here’s what to look for

WALPOLE, Mass. — Now that the temperatures are getting colder and we are in the thick of winter, more people are getting outside to go skiing or ice skating, but there are some things you should keep in mind before stepping out on the ice.

Dan Ryan has been volunteering at Turner Pond in Walpole for the last twelve years. Ryan tells Boston 25 Meteorologist Vicki Graf that by knowing the landscape of the pond and measuring how deep the ice is, he’s able to keep families safe on the ice. Otherwise, assume the pond is unsafe.

Most ponds lack signs, warning people about the icy pond conditions. Rayn said, It might look frozen, but you don’t always know how deep the ice is.

In order to support the weight of an adult, the ice should be at least four inches thick. According to Ryan, he uses the drill in more vulnerable areas of the ice and until he sees a reading of five inches, he knows the rest of the pond is safe.

Oftentimes, you will see lines in the ice, or even hear the ice making a cracking sound.

“It’s pretty fascinating to hear it,” Ryan said.

January and February are the best skating months with temperatures being the coldest. After that, it can get too warm and the ice starts to melt.