Is the ice thick enough to skate?

According to the Minnesota Department of natural resources, the ice needs to be 4 inches to skate or walk on it, and 12-15″ to drive a pickup truck on it:

Two easy methods to measure ice thickness:

  1. Ice Auger.
  2. Cordless drill.

Today I used a cordless drill with a 4-inch long wood auger bit. The bit went in half before water leaked around it, so the ice was only 2-inches thick.

Cordless drill ice hole

According to this article, ice will increase at a rate of 1 inch/ 15 freezing degree days (FDDs)

To calculate FDDs, subtract 32 from the average temperature in a day. For the next 7 days the average temperature will be:

  • Monday: 28°= 4 FDDs
  • Tuesday: 31.5°= 0.5 FDDs
  • Wednesday:  31°= 1FDDs
  • Thursday: 28.5°= 3.5FDDs
  • Friday: 29.5°= 1.5 FDDs
  • Saturday: 36.5°= -4.5FDDs

By next Sunday, we should have had a total of 6 FDDs, which would correspond to less than half an inch more of ice. We’ll see next Sunday if these calculations were accurate.

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