Nenana Ice Classic – closing in on all time record latest ice-out

According to the ice breakup log, the latest the ice has ever gone out was May 20th, 1964 at 11:41 AM Alaska Standard Time. As of this writing there is about 28 hours to go to break that record.

Geophysicist Martin Jeffries at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks said in 2009,

The Nenana Ice Classic is a pretty good proxy for climate change in the 20th century.

If that’s true, it looks like we are headed to colder times. Here is the current live view which updates every 30 seconds. 

Refresh to see the latest.

I’ve been watching over the past 12 hours and the tripod has drifted downstream slightly, rope slack changes gave the impression that the tripod had changed position, but that’s an artifact of wind, and there appear to be leads in the ice opening nearby, though it is hard to tell if they go through the ice or if it is simply water on the surface.

Here is what the image looked like on 5-15-13 (thanks to Willis):

They need a weather station there to go with the live image. Many people want to know what the temperature and wind conditions are like.

[UPDATE] I trust Anthony won’t mind my adding a blink comparator between the 16th at two in the afternoon, and the 19th at ten in the morning. Click on the image to see the comparison.

tripod tipping

From my inspection, I’d say the tripod hasn’t moved … it looks like it’s tipped a bit, but I think that’s just the different sun angles, because the black-painted sections don’t seem to be moving.

It’s the most exciting slow-motion event I know of …

w.

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330 Responses to Nenana Ice Classic – closing in on all time record latest ice-out

  1. Oughtsix says:

    Nenana Municipal Airport (PANN)

    http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=64.5638889&lon=-149.0930556&site=all&smap=1&searchresult=Nenana%2C%20AK%2099760%2C%20USA

    REPLY:
    Thanks for that. The temperature at the airport is likely different than on the river, with the weather station right next to that big chunk of asphalt at 64.547180° -149.087135°
    http://maps.google.com/maps?q=64.547180+-149.087135&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hnear=0x5132978d0536b085:0x34e63a8527ec0948,64.547180+-149.087135&gl=us&t=h&z=15
    -Anthony

  2. Kevin Kilty says:

    The Nenana Ice Classic is a pretty good proxy for climate change in the 20th century.

    Scientists impaled on imprudent, overconfident generalizations.

  3. Ian H says:

    Gripping entertainment. Can I bear the excitement? As I sip my coffee and stare at the ice my thoughts turn to what the polar ice might do this year. Might it also be late breaking up? That would set the cat among the pigeons.

  4. Don B says:

    The record late breakup was in 1964, a leap year, so a new record could be set on May 21.

    Having said that, since the 1998 turning point, the breakup has been trending later, and the global warming activists have been silent.

  5. TerryMN says:

    I don’t think it has drifted downstream yet – using position of the flag that intersects the round clump of bushes on the far side of the river, it looks like it’s in the same position as it was in the post from Willis – link here, since it rolled off the front page: http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/ice-cam-945-am-pdt.jpg

    REPLY:
    yes, but I’m going by the slack and position of ropes, which changed since last night. It may be closer to shore. – Anthony

  6. Geophysicist Martin Jeffries is right with climate change but not the man made one. It’s cooling!

  7. Jantar says:

    I have also been watching it all night and I noticed that the wind was quite strong from the south west earlier on, but dropped to almost nothing abround 4 hours ago. You can judge the wind strength and direction from the flag on top of the tripod. I also note that there has been no drift of the tripod, but it appears to have tilted slightly left (it may be my imagination).

    I’m on night shift so have looked at it aproximately every 30 minutes.

  8. I don’t see the drift, it was about there 24 hrs ago, on one third to the left of that little bush at the other side. Also the dark spot to the left has been there for days

    But that big crack behind the tripod is new, from the last hours, So I’m not holding my breath.

    But it would be cool (pun intended)

  9. What exactly has to happen for “ice out”? The tripod sinks?

  10. Harold Ambler says:

    Among the reasons I take the threat of global cooling seriously is experience with river ice. A story: when my father rowed at Dartmouth in the late 50s and early 60s, his crew encountered an iceberg on the Connecticut River about three miles north of the boathouse. They were able to row their wooden shell to shore as it sank and then run back to the boathouse in their socks, a near-death experience that turned into just a story to tell about rowing in New England.

    I followed in my father’s footsteps both to Dartmouth and the boathouse in the mid-80s, and my crew, on the first row in a new Vespoli eight, at dusk on an early-April practice, struck a mostly submerged iceberg (as they mostly were). I was in the bow of the boat, the forward-most oarsman, and the front 14 feet of the shell including yours truly rode up on top of the berg. Incredibly, we were able to back off the thing without rupturing the extremely fragile shell, something that I consider a low-level miracle in my life.

    Getting the docks out before ice up and then in after ice out was always a slippery, faintly dangerous adventure. Dartmouth, being so far north, was starved for water time and thus chose to row in relatively dangerous conditions more often than most of its rivals. Understanding that there are many serious reasons why ice is not your friend, extending well beyond the realm of collegiate rowing, frozen water did nonetheless threaten the continuation of the Ambler line more than once.

  11. I’d love to see a timelapse of this. I’m surprised I can’t find one by search.

  12. Louis says:

    They call it a “classic”? Is this what people in Alaska do for fun — watch paint dry, I mean, watch ice melt?

  13. Russ says:

    Reblogged this on Is it 2012 in Nevada County Yet? and commented:
    A VERY STRONG COLD FRONT NOW IN THE WESTERN INTERIOR OF ALASKA WILL MOVE EAST THROUGH FAIRBANKS FRIDAY AND CONTINUE EAST TO THE CANADIAN BORDER BY SATURDAY AFTERNOON.

    SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT… NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FAIRBANKS AK… MAY 16 2013

    …WINTER RETURNING TO THE INTERIOR FRIDAY AND SATURDAY…

    SNOW…WINDS AND RECORD COLD TEMPERATURES WILL ACCOMPANY THE COLD FRONT. AFTERNOON

    TEMPERATURES ARE ONLY IN THE TEENS ALONG THE WEST COAST OF ALASKA BEHIND THE COLD FRONT TODAY.

  14. Anthony Watts says:

    @TerryMN, after more viewing I agree with you, post has been updated.

  15. TerryMN says:

    REPLY: yes, but I’m going by the slack and position of ropes, which changed since last night. It may be closer to shore. – Anthony

    Just measured, and yep – it has moved closer to shore. Leads me to think the crack in the center of the channel goes all the way through, and isn’t just a pool on top of the ice.

  16. John F. Hultquist says:

    A valid point that someone must have addressed in the past but prior to 1988 no one much cared about record setting climate change proxies.

    So is 11:41:01 A. M. on May 21st, 2013 the “rapture” time, then?

  17. Anthony Watts says:

    @TerryMN it seems tripod spotting is an inexact science, I just saw the wind pickup and the rope slack looked like it did days ago – what are you measuring?

  18. Mike jarosz says:

    After spending the last few months reading almost entirely non alarmist books and information I still find myself rooting for the cold weather and I hate cold weather. Can I be saved?

  19. Don B says:
    May 19, 2013 at 8:41 am

    The record late breakup was in 1964, a leap year, so a new record could be set on May 21.

    If true, the head post should be updated.

    Robert Sheaffer says:
    May 19, 2013 at 9:00 am

    What exactly has to happen for “ice out”? The tripod sinks?

    It tips over. There’s a sensor on it with a timer so it is automatically logged when.

  20. John F. Hultquist says:

    In my comment above I meant to ref Don B @ 8:41 re Leap Year.

  21. Ian H says:

    Almost as exciting as Norwegian Television.

  22. richcar 1225 says:

    Comment to the Anchorage Daily News about the May 17 snowfall in Anchorage:
    “As of midnight, weather service hadn’t announced official total for the day. If there was any measureable snowfall, at least 1/10th of an inch, it would be the longest season between first snow and last at 231 days. It would also tie the second-latest snowfall on record. In 1964, we had 0.2 inches on May 22. Records are since 1954.”
    http://www.adn.com/2013/05/18/2906394/late-season-snowfall-may-17-2013.html

    In Denali National Park business is hurting due to late snowfall.
    http://www.newsminer.com/news/local_news/may-storm-dumps-heavy-snow-in-interior-alaska-denali-national/article_9e337fa8-bf62-11e2-b16e-0019bb30f31a.html

  23. TerryMN says:

    what are you measuring?

    I’m assuming the current image and the one Willis saved on 5/15 are the same resolution. I just sized another window to fit between the base of the platform and a reference point on shore. In this case the right tip of the second (from the left) concrete parking stop. There’s about a 20 pixel difference between 5/15 and now.

  24. Pamela Gray says:

    Because it is tethered to the shore, I am assuming that when the ice begins to move the thing eventually tips over. Trouble with that is that sometimes things refreeze and then another week goes by before ice moves again. Don’t know if this happens in this particular setting or not but it happens in other areas. Ice dams stop the flow, freezing temps invade and freeze it up again, and then the next warm stretch gets things moving again. Eventually ice begins to move out without starting and stopping.

  25. Robert Sheaffer says:
    May 19, 2013 at 9:00 am
    What exactly has to happen for “ice out”? The tripod sinks?

    The ropes you see are connected to a clock. As soon as it is pulled out of it, the clock stops. That’s the Tenana river ice break up time at Nenana. So whatever the tripod does, topple or drift or whatever is irrelevant. The clock has to be stopped by pulling out the rope.

  26. Jay says:

    Its is cooling.. A little past mid May with the wind having more chill than I can honestly remember (Im 47).. Night time is noticeably cooler as well.. Thank god for the sun :) with fingers crossed that this summer brings a productive growing season..

    What that has to do with multi billion dollar green advocacy groups (big green) and their political academic enablers (Universities) I simply dont know.. They have far to much invested in their own well being for them to change their tune.. Maybe they will cook up a new doom du jour or simply stick with the warmest May ever at the north pole / south pole / bottom of the ocean / top of the mountain or any other place where direct observations are difficult / impossible to make..

    I would like to say that their political movement is off the rails but that would imply that it was on the rails at one point, which simply isnt true.. Emote, emote, emote. $$$ change the subject.

  27. TerryMN says:

    The laptop that I had all of my image editing software on it just died and I haven’t looked for/found the license keys for a reinstall on another yet, but it should be easy to paste in Willis’ photo as a base and overlay a semi-transparent layer of the current (from above, not the Nenana page) image on top and line them up. That’s what I would have done the day before yesterday, anyway. :)

  28. Gary Pearse says:

    Full quote of Dr Jeffries from WUWT in 2009:

    ” By this measure, spring comes to central Alaska 10 days earlier than in 1960, said geophysicist Martin Jeffries at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks — and that trend is accelerating. “The Nenana Ice Classic is a pretty good proxy for climate change in the 20th century,” Dr. Jeffries said.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/10/river-ice-in-alaska-pretty-good-proxy-for-climate-change-in-the-20th-century/

    Do you think that now that its not “accelerating” and we may break an all time record late date that Dr. Jeffries will be mugging this for the cameras? We’ll see.

  29. Thomas Mahany says:

    A little ‘Binging’ yields a Nenana River Ice Breakup at 11:41 P.M. on May 20, 1964. Well over 24 hours from now. I think I’ll check back in a day or two.

    Tom Mahany, Coshocton, Ohio

  30. captainfish says:

    One thing I asked the iceClassic website and did not get an answer is, “Why is the tripod placed 24 inches down in to the ice?” Wouldn’t that create a weak point? Wouldn’t that help the tripod drop in to the water sooner than if the tripod was sitting on top of the ice?

    Am sure Willis has the answer.

  31. Jeff Norman says:

    NENANA ICE COMPETITION RUINED BY GLOBAL WARMING

    Scientists in New York are blaming global warming for upsetting the Nenana Ice Competition stating that a recent navel survey clearly indicated that the heat energy that would normally cause the river to release its life giving waters to the downstream environment had been redirected to deep ocean sequestation where it was being used by the oil industry to kill sharks.

    “Nenana is in Alaska which is far away. If you were to go outside here you would see that it is a warm day. This means it must be cold in Alaska.” said Given Schmith of the Great International Science Swindle. When challenged about it being warm outside Mr. Schmith indicated that he was not in the entrtainment industry and left the room.

    Residence of Alaska were reported to have said, “It’s the Nenana Ice Classic.”

  32. Mungman says:

    Somewhat related to this. I was up at the family cottage on Lake Winnipeg this weekend for the Victoria Day long weekend, the lake is still completely frozen to the horizon in all directions. Talking to the neighbors who have had a cottage in the same spot (near Gimli, Mb.) they have never seen any ice on the lake on the long weekend, never mind being completely frozen over.

    Why does everyone tell me I can’t believe my lying eyes when I tell them it is not warming….

  33. Anthony Watts says:

    Thomas the value you give for 11:41 p.m. is incorrect according to the actual log at official website it is an AM value

  34. Susan Corwin says:

    Don B May 19, 2013 at 8:41 am
       The record late breakup was in 1964, a leap year, so a new record could be set on May 21

    I believe a person could argue a 1/4 day delta for an apples to apples (err ice break to ice break) record. 2012 was a leap year and we are 1/4 day/6 hours behind from a solar perspective. I must view negatively anyone pontificating that the human calendar dominates the solar calendar.

    Given the chaotic feedbacks in the actual breakup, it is now in unusual range:
        any theory or hypothesis that did not predict it are suspect.

  35. See - owe to Rich says:

    I’ll repeat the comment I made on the earlier Nenana thread today. Summary is that relative to astronomical time, breakup will be a new record if it occurs later than 8:33am tomorrow.

    “HenryP said “1964 was a leap year, and the equivalent time in days in 2013 would be 21 May?”, and has been praised for this analysis. But since minutes count for the Nenana sweepstake, so should they for the measurement of the record. So we should be measuring astronomically, with reference to the time since the vernal equinox.

    A first cut would say that since 2013 is one year after a leap year, the equinox occurred about 6 hours later than in 2012, so instead of May 20th 11:41am we should set the target to be May 20th 5:41pm.

    A second cut needs to actually find out when the equinox occurred in 1964 and in 2013. The wonders of Google (or other good search engines) reveal the site http://ns1763.ca/equinox/vern1788-2211.html where you can see that, surprising to some (but not me), the equinox was actually _earlier_ in 2013 than in 1964. Namely, both were on March 20th but 1964′s was at
    1410UT and 2013′s was at 1102UT. Therefore we should subtract 3h08m from the target time.

    I therefore declare that 2013′s ice break-up will be a record if it occurs later than May 20th 8:33am.”

    Rich.

  36. Jeff Norman says:

    Susan Corwin, May 19, 2013 at 9:56 am

    And you could look at the historical data to see if there was an actual correlation between ice breakup dates and leap years.

    I wonder if the change to daylight savings had an impact [/tongueincheek]

  37. Paul says:

    But, but, but wait. Forget the ice what about New York??????
    Huh?
    Oh for humanity:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/may/19/heatwave-deaths-new-york-city-rise?CMP=twt_fd&CMP=SOCxx2I2

    Urban heat islands even get a mention.

  38. Go Home says:

    Did I just see a speed boat go by in the narrow channel just behind the tripod? I swear it looked like Michael Mann with a lasso. I swear it, really.

  39. RobRoy says:

    Mike jarosz says:
    May 19, 2013 at 9:19 am

    “After spending the last few months reading almost entirely non alarmist books and information I still find myself rooting for the cold weather and I hate cold weather. Can I be saved?”

    Mike, you’re already saved. Better a free man in the cold than a green commerade .
    In Climatology, real science, the Scientific Method, has been overwhelmed by propaganda.
    Cold weather and cooling climates( there are many) seem to be the only things to successfully debunk these insipid watermelons, The Socialist “planning” class. Those snakes in the grass of environmentalism.
    Western Liberty and possibilities for third world prosperity would be jeopardized If our Earth continued to warm, regardless of the natural causes.
    The UN jackboots would indeed come.

  40. Luther Wu says:

    My calibrated eyeball doesn’t see any movement of the device either downstream or towards shore, after comparing photos from today and several days ago.
    having said that, the river ice appears to now have a clear central channel, persistent since yesterday

  41. Go Home says:

    There appears to be a wind blowing to the right from the flag on top of the tripod. I pray that is upstream to the right. I pray, really.

  42. Jimmy Haigh. says:

    For sure if it had been an earliest ice break up record we had been looking at the MSM and the usual suspects would have been all over it.

  43. Tom J says:

    ‘Geophysicist Martin Jeffries at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks said in 2009,

    The Nenana Ice Classic is a pretty good proxy for climate change in the 20th century.’

    Now, Geophysicist Martin Jeffries is either much smarter than anyone realizes, or he’s, well, rather much less smarter than anyone, including himself, realizes. Last time I checked 2009 was in the 21st century, not the 20th. But, then again, maybe he knows something about time travel that I don’t. Or maybe the Nenana Ice Classic was a good proxy back in the 20th century but stopped being a good proxy in the 21st century now that it’s not showing what he wants it to show. And, maybe intermingled in all this confusion is his definition of what a ‘pretty’ good proxy is. A proxy that’s better than a mere good one? Or, a proxy that’s not quite so good as, simply, a good one? And, what is a proxy anyway? The definition I get for the word ‘proxy’ (and I looked it up) is a substitute. So, precisely how is the Nenana Ice Classic a substitute for climate change?

    See what I mean? Much smarter than anyone realizes or much less smarter than anyone realizes? Climate warriors are a mysterious bunch.

  44. Go Home says:

    It appears the camera is located on the South side, which would make the wind blowing to the right to be blowing UPSTREAM. Prayers answered.

  45. Willis Eschenbach says:

    I’ve added a blink comparator to the head post, the 16th vs. the 19th …

    w.

  46. Ian Evans says:

    ‘Don B says: May 19, 2013 at 8:41 am
    The record late breakup was in 1964, a leap year, so a new record could be set on May 21.’

    Mind you, as last year was a leap year, we are still 3/4ths of a day ‘forward’ so one really only has to allow an extra 6 hours!

  47. TerryMN says:

    I’ve added a blink comparator to the head post, the 16th vs. the 19th …

    w.

    Nice! Thanks Willis.

  48. Anthony Watts says:

    Thanks Willis, I would have done that, but the image you posted on WUWT in your post on the 15th was modified with edging, so I didn’t feel comfortable trying. The sun angle appears to be the issue on the tripod, I agree.

  49. Willis Eschenbach says:

    captainfish says:
    May 19, 2013 at 9:44 am

    One thing I asked the iceClassic website and did not get an answer is, “Why is the tripod placed 24 inches down in to the ice?” Wouldn’t that create a weak point? Wouldn’t that help the tripod drop in to the water sooner than if the tripod was sitting on top of the ice?

    Am sure Willis has the answer.

    Not an answer but a likelihood. Given the cables/ropes attached to the tripod (quadripod? pyramod?) and the strength of the wind up there, if it wasn’t nailed down somehow, it would be pulled over by the first Alaska-sized gust. In midwinter, easiest way to attach something solidly to the ice is dig shallow holes for the legs, stick its feet in the holes, and just add water …

    That’s my guess, at any rate. I don’t think it would make a weak point. The quadruped is made out of welded steel pipe, so it seems it would reinforce the ice.

    w.

  50. Jimmy Haigh. says:

    Willis’s blink comparator shows it well. My question is this: Where did the big concrete blocks go?…

  51. Luther Wu says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    May 19, 2013 at 10:52 am

    I’ve added a blink comparator to the head post, the 16th vs. the 19th …

    w.
    _______________
    Oh boy, here we go with the blink comparators…
    You should be ok as long as you don’t fire up a blog and call it something like Large Garish Fubars, or some such and then accumulate a following and then completely lose your whole blueprint/mind and turn into a partisan hack of the first order… but other than that, thanks for the blink comparator.

  52. Anthony Watts says:

    I’m setting up a time lapse capture on one of my computers, with luck we’ll have the first ever movie of the event.

  53. Luther Wu says:

    Anthony Watts says:
    May 19, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I’m setting up a time lapse capture on one of my computers, with luck we’ll have the first ever movie of the event.
    _________________
    Cool- great idea. Lots of melt water accumulating, etc so it might happen any time.

  54. Luther Wu says:

    1527AKDT 5/19/2013

  55. Greg Goodman says:

    Don B May 19, 2013 at 8:41 am
    The record late breakup was in 1964, a leap year, so a new record could be set on May 21

    It is the calendar year that moves. Perhaps a good reference point would be the equinox.

    Maybe we should be plotting days after equinox is we want a proxy time series.

  56. The ice went out in 1964 on May 20, at 11:41 AM (Alaska daylight savings time, UTC-8?). This corresponds to 19:41 May 20, UT, or Julian Date 2438536.32014

    That year, the vernal equinox was on March 20 14:10 UT, Julian Date 2438475.09028. In 1964, the ice went out 61.22986 days after the Vernal Equinox.

    In 2013 the Vernal Equinox occurred on March 20 at 11:02 UT, Julian Date 2456371.95972. The “latest ice” record, as measured by time since the Vernal Equinox, would be broken at Julian Date 2456433.18958, which is May 20, 16:33 UT, or May 21 00:33 Alaskan Daylight Savings Time.

    http://www.onlineconversion.com/julian_date.htm

  57. Greg Goodman says:

    if anyone can point me to an easily accessible list of equinox dates for the the last 100 years, I may use that to adjust the plot.
    http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=230

    Seems this year has overstepped the mark for my AO index correlation :(

  58. Eric Worrall says:

    Watch out for snaps of the Hockey Team defending Mann’s graph with ice axes… :-)

  59. Wait, I added, should have subtracted. May 20, 16:33 UT is May 20, 08:33 Alaskan DST. UT must be later than Alaskan time, not earlier. So the record would be broken Monday morning at 08:33.

  60. Ian Evans says:
    May 19, 2013 at 10:53 am
    Mind you, as last year was a leap year, we are still 3/4ths of a day ‘forward’ so one really only has to allow an extra 6 hours!

    Thanks, why WUWT is so informative. A new record would be cool, pardon the pun.

  61. John Blake says:

    “It was forty below, and out in the snow / “The hungry huskies moaned” (Robert Service). Trust that WUWT will blazon an alert when the Nenana tripod does begin to sag… this 28-hour home-stretch seems like a Triple Crown.

  62. Good Idea Anthony – on the time lapse movie. You are always ahead of the curve as far as I can see. Will look forward to seeing that. Should be more entertaining than “watching paint dry”.

  63. Greg Goodman says:
    if anyone can point me to an easily accessible list of equinox dates for the the last 100 years,

    That list is here: http://ns1763.ca/equinox/vern1788-2211.html

  64. See - owe to Rich says:

    Robert Sheaffer, please see my earlier comment which you have now repeated. I think I got to the pole first…

    Rich.

  65. M Courtney says:

    Geophysicist Martin Jeffries at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks said in 2009, “The Nenana Ice Classic is a pretty good proxy for climate change in the 20th century.”

    He was wrong last century.
    He is wrong this century.
    Why would he think that ice-melt is a good proxy for any one parameter?
    ~Air Temperature
    ~Precipitation (rain)
    ~Sunlight intensity (cloudiness)
    ~Biological effects (insectal, bacterial, fungal blooms)
    ~Local industry
    ~Groundwater release (tectonics)

    How can we know that only one parameter is dominant?
    How do we know we have thought of everything, anyway?

  66. Willis

    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/tripod-tipping.gif

    I think it tipped over slightly to the right, maybe two-three inch, probably due to the steady wind and the ice giving way under the pressure caused by that. But it also looks that the right site did not go down, but the left side came up. Obviously the higher ice is warmer, giving way easier.

    That would explain why the poles are burried so deep.

    Andre

  67. tcvaughn says:

    “It’s the most exciting slow-motion event I know of …”
    Certainly more exciting than this one: http://smp.uq.edu.au/content/pitch-drop-experiment

  68. Jim Cripwell says:

    With respect to the calendar, our dates are arbitrary; designed to keep the calendar in line with the solar year. The rotation of the earth on it’s axis, and the rotation around the sun do not coincide. So deciding whether this year sets a record, assuming there is doubt, will be purely arbitrary. Who the authority is, I have no idea.

  69. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Jimmy Haigh. says:
    May 19, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Willis’s blink comparator shows it well. My question is this: Where did the big concrete blocks go?…

    I’ve been running frame capture on a 10-minute basis since the 16th, just a hacked-together R script that doesn’t even have error trapping … anyhow, here’s the relevant photos. First, they’re not concrete blocks, they look like bearproof trash containers. Here’s a photo for a sense of scale:

    Here’s the closest frames. First one shows the likely culprit …

    Next one, ten minutes later, shows one of the boxes has been picked up ….

    And finally, another ten minutes and they’re gone …

    Anthony, if you want my series of ten-minute-apart stills (mostly complete except one 8-hour stretch where my lack of error trapping kicked me off) you’re welcome to add it to your set. They have no frame, snagged directly from the feed. I was working on the first movie myself, but you have the industrial-strength hardware, software, and wetware for that job …

    w.

  70. R. Shearer says:

    Did you see the frame in which the guy runs out onto the ice with a hockey stick and attempts to chop away at the ice? He was driving a Prius with a Nittany Lion bumper sticker.

  71. Jimmy Haigh. says:

    Willis – thanks for the detective work!

    I’ve just watched the car drive away and it looks as if the lady who got into the back left her bag on top of the roof. So they might have to come back and pick it up sometime.

    The car was an SUV so I hope it doesn’t hasten the melt and prevent the record…

  72. Anthony Watts says:

    Willis, I have a 30 second screencap setup running from just after noon today, so we should be able to get a sense of movement of the ice etc.

    I think I’ll use some of your caps as a prelude…but not try to join them due to the date gap.

  73. Greg Goodman says:

    Robert Sheaffer says:

    Greg Goodman says:
    if anyone can point me to an easily accessible list of equinox dates for the the last 100 years,

    That list is here: http://ns1763.ca/equinox/vern1788-2211.html

    damn, me an my big mouth , that this evening blow out scratching my head about time zones and Julien and Pope Gregory.

    Even has the exact hour, cool.
    many thanks.

  74. Hoser says:

    And what does the record breakup really mean? Using time from equinox sounds great, but there is a problem. It assumes the time of day when the breakup occurs is purely random. It isn’t. Below are the hours of the day when the breakup happened according to the log.

    We find the times are more likely around midday. Not surprising really. Runoff is dependent on insolation, and increases during the daylight hours, then decreases overnight. When exactly the runoff peaks at a given location on a stream may depend on how long it takes for the water to arrive at the point where the flow is measured.

    Thus, the calendar date and local time are more important than the astronomical time. These have been the basis of the record, and should remain so.

    Hour Number
    0 1
    1 1
    2 1
    5 1
    6 2
    9 7
    10 6
    11 8
    12 7
    13 9
    14 7
    15 9
    16 6
    17 6
    18 7
    19 5
    20 4
    21 3
    22 2
    23 3

  75. rtj1211 says:

    I’d say the Nenana ice classic is a proxy for two things:

    1. Climate in a small part of Alaska.
    2. In particular, the exit from spring, as opposed to winter cold.

    The first freeze up will be a proxy for entry into winter in Alaska, however whether it’s -36 or -40C in January or February really won’t make great odds to the melt date.

    People should be very careful in how they interpret things: Alpinists in Europe (by which I mean professional guides) have a mantra that ‘the snow which falls before the middle of January is the snow which lasts’. So, if you get heavy early snow and it consolidates, it lasts much longer than if you get loads of snow in March which melts much quicker before forming consolidated neve.

    People should be very careful in interpreting the snow data of any one ski station, since anyone of knowledge knows that you can get inverse relationships between e.g. the Italian Alps and the northern Swiss Alps (since one gets mostly snow on NW winds, whereas the other gets most snow when a depression comes up from the south).

    People should be careful in ascribing global cooling when it’s cooler in NW Europe. I wonder if it really is cooler in SE Europe right now??

    It’s really important to find multiple measurement zones and obtain a complete picture rather than ascribing the fertility of one prize bull to all male cows on the planet…….

  76. Werner Brozek says:

    See – owe to Rich says:
    May 19, 2013 at 10:12 am

    A first cut would say that since 2013 is one year after a leap year, the equinox occurred about 6 hours later than in 2012, so instead of May 20th 11:41am we should set the target to be May 20th 5:41pm.

    A year is 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, 45 seconds. As has been pointed out, 1964 was a leap year but 2013 is not a leap year. So it would not necessarily have to be 24 hours later to be a record. 2013 and 2014 and 2015 would each have different times for a record to be established.

    Does this affect your second cut numbers by 11 minutes and 15 seconds?

  77. perhaps further proof – if any be needed – that climate change IS happening, in that we’re heading into the next, overdue, ice age?

  78. Ric Werme says:

    Geophysicist Martin Jeffries at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks said in 2009,

    The Nenana Ice Classic is a pretty good proxy for climate change in the 20th century.

    Ice outs since the start of 2009:

    2009 May  1 0841 AKST
    2010 Apr 10 0906
    2011 May  4 1624
    2012 Apr 23 0739

    Perhaps what was true in the 20th century isn’t holding up in the 21st. :-)

    Last year’s ice out was the 4th earliest. If Jeffries was right, then either we’re in deep trouble or that the standard deviation is so high it will take centuries to determine a good sample from the proxy. Maybe it will work out on a per millennium basis.

  79. Gunga Din says:

    Yet another part of the Globe that doesn’t cooperate with the theory of what the “Coal Trains of Death” will do.
    The wools they’ve tried to pull over our eyes is getting thin.

  80. Patrick says:

    http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/Adam12/1/show.html can be used to show time lapse of the tripod from the 1st of may

    Think its going to go soon

  81. Greg Goodman says:

    Hoser: “And what does the record breakup really mean? Using time from equinox sounds great, but there is a problem. It assumes the time of day when the breakup occurs is purely random. It isn’t.”

    I’m not interested in declaring a record or whatever, I’m interested in looking at it as a climate proxy. It a good point tough.

    The question was how to account for leap years. Maybe just using the day of equinox could solve that, however that is unnecessarily introducing an error of +/-12h.

    I think this is worse than the effect or more break ups near noon since there is still a fair proportion at all hours.

    .. and maybe it does not matter a damn in relation to the crudity of the proxy.

  82. Billy Liar says:

    All you people fussing about time do not seem to have noticed that the bets are placed in Alaska Standard Time NOT Alaska Daylight Time. So the time of the ‘ice-out’ will not be the time shown on the Borealis webcam but one hour earlier.

    See:

    http://www.nenanaakiceclassic.com/2013%20Side%20A.pdf

    Furthermore, people are betting on the calendar date and time of ice break-up, NOT the time since the vernal equinox or any other bizarre time concept. Leap seconds anyone?

  83. ryan_p says:

    Don’t think it’s going to make it through the day. Looks like it could go at any minute.

  84. jorgekafkazar says:

    If the breakup doesn’t come before midnight tonight, there’s about a 70% chance the record will be broken.

    My table:
    6 to 9 am……….3 occurrences
    9 am to noon…21
    noon to 3 pm…23
    3 pm to 6 pm…21
    6 pm to 9 pm…15
    9 pm to midnight…8
    midnight to 3 am…3
    3 am to 6 am…..1

  85. Ric Werme says:

    Here’s a nice article about this year’s spring cold,
    http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20130517/cold-hard-facts-new-century-frigid-alaska says in part:

    The state’s overall temperature dipped 2.4 degrees during the first decade of the new century, a notable shift from the previous 100 years, which had generally trended warmer, according to a study published last summer by the Alaska Climate Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

    The authors suggested that growing winter ice in the Bering Sea — the result of cooler surface temperatures — led to lower temperatures across nearly all of Alaska. Meanwhile, thinning ice in the Arctic Ocean led to warming in one slice of the state: the North Slope atop Alaska.

    Those trends are continuing, according to follow-up papers released by Wendler, Blake Moore and Kevin Galloway.

    As for 2013, things started out warm. But the chill returned with a vengeance.

    April was “much too cold” by 6.9 degrees, and it felt especially brittle in Fairbanks where Wendler lives. The Golden Heart City saw its third-coldest April in more than 100 years. “It was quite unique in that sense and I strongly disliked it, personally,” said Wendler, in his thick German accent.

    Overall, the first four months of 2013 were .65 degrees chillier than normal, nippiness that seems to have redoubled its efforts this month, throwing off seasonal rituals across the state.

    Because the nearby Yukon River is frozen, efforts to collect driftwood are on hold, he said. That wood is swept off banks as the rising river cracks free of ice and rages past the village each spring, providing a free supply of firewood for many homes.

    Also on hold is gardening the school usually does this time of year, because the ground is too frosty. “We have well over a ton of banana peels, apple cores, and onion skins in our compost pile. It’s frozen solid,” he said.

    In Nome near the Bering Strait — where Friday’s temperature hovered around 20 — winter king crabbers were coming off a spectacular fishing season, said Jim Menard, area manager.

    That’s in part because in this commercial fishery, snowmachines are used instead of boats.

    But there’s a downside to the cold. Last year, excessive sea ice in Norton Sound led to the cancellation of the herring sac roe fishery, the first time sea ice had called the season since 1992. The ice isn’t as densely frozen this time, but there’s still plenty of it, said Scott Kent, assistant area management biologist in Nome.

    Meanwhile, the Unalakleet and Shaktoolik rivers in Norton Sound are still frozen with very little overflow, allowing safe travel and belated trout fishing through the ice.

    “There’s no trouble navigating the Unalakleet with snowmachines at this time, which is unheard of,” he said. “It’s just crazy.”

    And across the entire Bering Sea, the ice is slowly growing at a time when it should be breaking up, said Kathleen Cole, lead ice forecaster in Alaska for the National Weather Service.

    “We’re actually making ice rather than having it dissipate,” she said.

    But once the weather warms back up, sea ice in the Bering should vanish more quickly than it did last year because it’s not as dense. She’s predicting an ice-free Bering Sea starting July 1.

    “All I want is 60-degree days,” said Cole, from her office in Anchorage. “I really, really want 60 degrees.”

  86. Pat Frank says:

    If the tripod lasts past May 20th, the Nenana Classic will be renamed the Neener-neener Classic, in honor of the chagrined AGW brigade.

  87. Ric Werme says:

    Here’s another view of the four footed tripod, I think looking upstream in a photo that is likely from a different year.

    http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20130516/will-years-nenana-ice-classic-set-record-latest-ice-out-ever

  88. NZ Willy says:

    In Arctic Sea news, the Kara Sea was particularly cold this past winter and has very thick ice. There could be a record late melt there, in August maybe.

  89. McKenzie says:

    Here is the latest excuse…

    “Climate slowdown means extreme rates of warming ‘not as likely’”

    Quote”: “Since 1998, there has been an unexplained “standstill” in the heating of the Earth’s atmosphere.

    Writing in Nature Geoscience, the researchers say this will reduce predicted warming in the coming decades.”

    That’s right, the ‘predicted’ warming is so ‘unexplained’, some areas are freezing. But…but… No buts…they got it wrong and now they are trying to fudge the response to the bad news. What is described in this thread isn’t reduced warming as the Warminista would have us believe, it’s extreme, and anomalous, (relatively) cold weather.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22567023

  90. Greg Goodman says:

    “Last year’s ice out was the 4th earliest. If Jeffries was right, then either we’re in deep trouble or that the standard deviation is so high it will take centuries to determine a good sample from the proxy. Maybe it will work out on a per millennium basis.”

    Last year had record Arctic melt too and there is a strong tendency for annual alternation in many climate indices.

    Arctic melting season has been getting steadily shorter since 1990 but it’s a bumpy ride:
    http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=210

    The more of these untampered time series we have to cross check things the better.

    ” The Nenana Ice Classic is a pretty good proxy for climate change in the 20th century. ”

    He did not say it was a thermometer.

  91. Jimbo says:

    Alaska, the canary in the coal mine is now the canary in the refrigerator. As Anthony pointed out temps have been trending down since 2000 with some cold weather records broken recently.

    Alaska: Canary in the Coal Mine – PBS

  92. Jimbo says:

    Anthony, on Martin Jeffries’ quote, was it in 2009 or 2008? Anyway I found this from the Wall Street Journal and wonder what Martin Jeffries thinks today.

    Wall Street Journal – March 7, 2008
    Climate Watchers Place Own Big Bet On Alaska’s Thaw

    The Ice Classic has given them a rare, reliable climate history that has documented to the minute the onset of the annual thaw as it shifted across 91 years. By this measure, spring comes to central Alaska 10 days earlier than in 1960, said geophysicist Martin Jeffries at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks — and that trend is accelerating. “The Nenana Ice Classic is a pretty good proxy for climate change in the 20th century,” Dr. Jeffries said.

    The local ice lottery is further evidence of a long warming trend affecting lakes and rivers throughout the Northern Hemisphere, reported by University of Wisconsin researchers who analyzed newspaper archives, transport ledgers and religious records dating back to the 16th century……….

  93. Hoser says:

    Greg Goodman says:
    May 19, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    How to account for leap years.

    Well, first of all, do we need to? Don’t leap years already bring the standard calendar pretty close to the astronomical calendar? Since the breakup is always after Mar 1, there is no need to ‘account for’ the leap year. Leap years do the accounting for us to bring the date back into alignment with the solstices and equinoces.

    My point was the calendar day and local time are most important.

    There was a 400 year non-aberration in the leap year. Most centuries do not have a leap year on the last year of the century (year ending in 00). If we did nothing to fix the calendar, the Spring equinox would slowly drift later and later. To fix that problem, we do have a leap year on the last year of every fourth century. 2000 was a final century year with leap year.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leap_year

    If we hadn’t experienced a leap year in 2000, you could argue the lack of a leap year in 2000 would throw off the records for our purpose; they would be off by a day versus pre-2000. However, there WAS a leap year, so there is no abrupt discontinuity in equinox dates.

    http://www.holoscenes.com/special/seasons.html

    Thus, no adjustments for leap year seem to be needed in this case. The calendar dates apparently are the best choice in an imperfect system.

  94. Mike M says:

    Witchcraft! Three concrete blocks were turned into a car!

  95. Louis Hooffstetter says:

    Jeff Norman says: May 19, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Bravo!

  96. be cause says:

    as our quadropod is ‘not a thermometer’ the records cannot be massaged in any direction so it’s amongst the most secure records currently available …

  97. Rud Istvan says:

    Hoser, your ‘climate model’ says the odds are good that if the tripod makes it to evening ADST ( about another four hours from where and when I now am) odds are good we have a New record as established from vernal equinox time reference. And that most of us can get some sleep tonight rather than observing this ‘historic event’ more closely. What good fun.

    The morels on my Wisconsin farm came out 2 weeks early last year (relative to the ‘normal’ family gathering to pick them second weekend in May) obviously due to global warming. This year they came out two weeks late (also due to global warming according to the Met explanation for UK’s miserable cold late spring, which according to Slingo wasn’t weather but ACC so obviously also why spring was cold, wet, and late in Wisconsin). / sarc. On average it was average, even though we got few mushrooms either year. Which proves only that weather isn’t climate, and that morel mushrooms are a good seasonal proxy so Mann won’t use it. Records of the Nenana Classic go back far enough to count as local, maybe regional climate. What good, serious fun.

    Rtj1211, please send your astute observations to Mann with a note about Yamal’s undue influence. Perhaps he will post a retraction of his hockey stick.

  98. Finished lunch and off to wash the tractor and do some harrowing. Hope that tripod is still there this evening. Almost as entertaining as a slow hockey game. Thanks for lightening up the day.

  99. Juergen,

    Martin Jeffries is a geographer, but not a geophysicists. On the website of the Geophysical Institute it is stated:

    Dr. Jeffries is currently on leave from UAF and working at the Office of Naval Research, where he is a Program Officer and Arctic Science Advisor in the Ocean, Atmosphere and Space Research Division, Ocean Battlespace Sensing Department. Prior to going to ONR, Dr. Jeffries spent four years (2006-2010) at NSF, where he was the Program Director for the Arctic Observing Network in the Division of Arctic Sciences, Office of Polar Programs. His cryospheric processes research has taken him to both the Arctic and the Antarctic to investigate ice shelves, icebergs, sea ice and lake ice. With Kim Morris, Dr. Jeffries created the very successful Alaska Lake Ice and Snow Observatory Network (ALISON), an integrated research and education project in which K-12 teachers and students were his scientific partners in an investigation of lake ice growth, snow accumulation and conductive heat flux in Alaska.

  100. Steve in SC says:

    This is almost as exciting as golf on the radio.

  101. NZ Willy says:

    It occurs to me that the ice excavated to slot in the tripod could exactly equal the weight of the tripod. That would be a good design — I’ll bet they do it like that.

  102. Always worth remembering that the frozen river is down stream of Fairbanks, Alaska’s second largest city, with an urban population of 51,926. So it isn’t a crystal clear wilderness stream but one that is subject to urban influences. I have no idea how they keep the streets of Fairbanks ice free but any run off from that would be one small factor for instance…

  103. This is almost as exciting as watching soccer. Check back in half an hour and it’s still 0 – 0 ( or 0 – 1).

  104. akadriver says:

    Pontifical University is the leading university of the Roman-Catholic Church, the University of Alaska Fairbanks is the leasing university of the Church of Global Warming. Its pope is IARC chief scientist Dr. John Walsh.

  105. Kev-in-Uk says:

    any of you WUWT readers in the area that can go there and give us a wave! LOL

  106. Taphonomic says:

    Jimbo says:
    May 19, 2013 at 1:52 pm
    “…wonder what Martin Jeffries thinks today.”

    Perhaps:

  107. Willis Eschenbach says:

    M Courtney says:
    May 19, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Geophysicist Martin Jeffries at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks said in 2009, “The Nenana Ice Classic is a pretty good proxy for climate change in the 20th century.”

    He was wrong last century.
    He is wrong this century.
    Why would he think that ice-melt is a good proxy for any one parameter?
    ~Air Temperature
    ~Precipitation (rain)
    ~Sunlight intensity (cloudiness)
    ~Biological effects (insectal, bacterial, fungal blooms)
    ~Local industry
    ~Groundwater release (tectonics)

    How can we know that only one parameter is dominant?
    How do we know we have thought of everything, anyway?

    How do we know it’s a good proxy? We do it the old-fashioned way. We take a look at the observations. The following chart shows the normalized Nenana breakup date versus all temperature stations within 100km, also normalized.

    Me, I’d call Nenana a pretty good proxy for the temperature changes of the last century, and this century as well.

    w.

  108. Don Allen says:

    RECORD EVENT REPORT
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ANCHORAGE AK
    500 AM AKDT SUN MAY 19 2013

    …COOLER THAN NORMAL WEATHER CONTINUES FOR ANCHORAGE…

    THE HIGH TEMPERATURE FOR SATURDAY MAY 18TH 2013 PEAKED AT 40 DEGREES
    AT THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE ON SAND LAKE ROAD.
    THIS MARKS THE THIRD DAY IN A ROW THAT THE DAILY HIGH TEMPERATURE
    SET A NEW LOW MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE RECORD. IT ECLIPSES THE PREVIOUS
    LOW MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE RECORD OF 45 DEGREES SET ON MAY 18TH 1922.

    THE RECORD FOR MEASURABLE SNOWFALL WAS EXTENDED ONE MORE DAY ON THE
    18TH AS 0.1 INCHES WAS RECORDED. THIS SNOWFALL MAKES THE 2012-2013
    SNOW SEASON THE LONGEST SINCE RECORDS BEGAN IN 1917…WITH 232 DAYS
    BETWEEN THE FIRST MEASURABLE SNOWFALL ON SEPTEMBER 29TH 2012 TO THE
    LAST MEASURABLE SNOWFALL ON MAY 18TH. THE PREVIOUS MARK OF 231 DAYS
    WAS SET YESTERDAY…WHICH BROKE THE 230 DAY SEASON SET 1981-1982.

  109. Justthinkin says:

    “It’s the most exciting slow-motion event I know of …”
    Wellllll. Not quite so for me. In fact,after three hours today,I HAD to put some coffee on just to watch it drip!

  110. Chewer says:

    We’ve set records all over the state here in Alaska, with what has looked like an Alfred Hitchcock movie over the past week, with migratory birds dropping left and right from cold and lack of open ground to feed from.
    Some of these birds have turned into cannibals, and that is not a good or natural sight…
    At least the fox and scavenger birds have full stomachs.

  111. Berényi Péter says:

    Don B says:
    May 19, 2013 at 8:41 am
    The record late breakup was in 1964, a leap year, so a new record could be set on May 21.

    Not true. Weather does not care about calendar dates, it is governed by the tropical year. And there’s 49.00000027 tropical years between 1964 May 20 11:41 AKST and 2013 May 20 08:30 AKST (to be shown in image as 09:30 AKDT). Therefore we have less than 19 hours left until record right now.

  112. David Chappell says:

    Maybe the clue that it is about to go will be a marked increase in the number of cars on the shore. Given that it is still Sunday afternoon, the local interest doesn’t seem all that great so far…maybe they know best!

  113. Greg Goodman says:

    “Well, first of all, do we need to? Don’t leap years already bring the standard calendar pretty close to the astronomical calendar? Since the breakup is always after Mar 1, there is no need to ‘account for’ the leap year. ”

    That’s just my point , if we work on ‘day of year’ there is a progressive drift over 4 years and jump back. There is also a drift of almost a full day over the full period due to the precession of the equinox.

    I’m rather of the opinion that this is small fry in relation to the annual variance in the record, so I’m not going to bother unless I find a reason.

  114. Andrew Russell says:

    “When it’s springtime in Alaska, it’s forty below” – Johnny Horton: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOT5VlbUsYk

  115. Greg Goodman says:

    David Chappell says: local interest doesn’t seem all that great so far…maybe they know best!

    They’ve probably all lost the bet already !

    It must be down to a handful of eccentric bets by now.

  116. mom2girls says:

    Has anyone charted the breakup vs. moon phase/tidal influences?

  117. G P Hanner says:

    There’s more money on it than betting of grass growing.

  118. @Greg
    “down to a handful of eccentric bets” -not after 127,400 bets. There are probably some bets in June.

  119. Fred Martushev says:

    What time is it in Nenana? can somebody answer that question to me.

  120. Luther Wu says:

    Fred Martushev says:
    May 19, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    What time is it in Nenana? can somebody answer that question to me.
    _________________
    Look at the upper right hand corner of the tower cam pic.

  121. Luther Wu says:

    Fred- Here’s a live link:
    http://www.nenanaakiceclassic.com/

  122. Luther Wu says:

    I’d keep a closer watch on the live updates, but I need to get back to the laundromat and watch the clothes tumble in the dryer

  123. Anthony Watts says:

    @ Fred Martushev see the timestamp in upper right of the webcam image

  124. Fred Martushev says:

    But…… wy when people posting comments or questions , it shows one hour defrents?

  125. dbstealey says:

    The wind is really blowing those guy wires around! And it looks like people are starting to use the parking lot more. If they’re locals, they probably have a better feel for H-hour than the rest of us in the lower 48.

  126. phlogiston says:

    Its 4 pm in Nenana now, night is approaching which is forecast to be cold, -3 to -4 C, which should stabilise the ice a little. The forecast is for rising temperatures in the next few days and some possible rain on Thursday which could be decisive.

  127. D. Cohen says:

    The nice thing about the Nenana proxy is that there is no plausible way or excuse to “adjust” the breakup date. Hence the warmists cannot come up with reasons to adjust the date the way they have adjusted the historical temperature records. So we look at Willis Eschenbach’s graph and see right away that in the late 1930′s and early 1940′s the Alaskan climate was as warm as it was in the late 1990′s. This contradicts the “adjusted” temperature-anomaly record and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

  128. petermue says:

    Actually the ice looks little bit weak below the tripod, or are my eyes deceiving me?
    [AKDT 16:49]

  129. dbstealey says:

    From the “Ice Conditions” tab:

    The ice is still solid from bank to bank around the Tripod. About 1/4 of a mile down stream, there are open holes and the river is flowing on the south bank of the Tanana River. Up stream from the Tripod about a 1/2 mile, there is quite a bit of open water. Behind the tripod there is a hole that opened and small pieces of ice are moving in the hole, the ice looks pretty thin, so it is definitely rotting… The 5 day forecast for the Nenana area is Sunday a high of 45 degrees and a low of 19. Monday (the latest date on record of the ice breaking up) is calling for a high of 55 and a low of 34 degrees. Tuesday a high of 61 and a low of 36, Wednesday a high of 61 and a low of 37. The cooler temperatures have definitely delayed breakup!! We’re thinking that the ice will most likely breakup sometime Monday, however, none of us have ever won, so what do we know!!!… We are no longer taking ice measurements, due to water on top of the ice. We will continue to update this link as changes occur to the ice.

    Latest pic shows 4 cars in the lot.

  130. NZ Willy says:

    petermue: that’s known as a “shadow”.

    Separately, I much prefer the world warmer, but we need to shake off this warmist encrustation which is sapping our economies and future. So unfortunately we need a “cold treatment”, sort of like medicine for Gaia.

  131. Fred Martushev says:

    Ye…… Call Mr.All Gore and ask Q???

  132. petermue says:

    NZ Willy says:
    petermue: that’s known as a “shadow”.

    I wasn’t quite sure, especially about the broader spot around the mullion.

  133. DirkH says:

    NZ Willy says:
    May 19, 2013 at 5:30 pm
    “Separately, I much prefer the world warmer, but we need to shake off this warmist encrustation which is sapping our economies and future. So unfortunately we need a “cold treatment”, sort of like medicine for Gaia.”

    That will only help until the first entrepreneurial spirit gets the idea of calling on the governments of the world to do something about the dangerous cooling. Probably his book is already waiting for a publisher…

    History of warming vs. cooling scares:
    http://butnowyouknow.wordpress.com/those-who-fail-to-learn-from-history/climate-change-timeline/

  134. tchannon says:

    I agree with Willis but I couldn’t find a complete set of data so I made one. Since I did it I know the situation. Those worrying about leap years etc. all accounted for. (whether it matters or not)
    I’ve also posted a decadal plot in comments elsewhere.
    Data is here http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2013/05/19/nenana-ice-classic-data/, otherwise adds nothing. If you want to normalise etc., your bag.

  135. philjourdan says:

    When the earth goes into a normal cooling cycle, will they want us to “warm” it up?

  136. petermue says:
    May 19, 2013 at 5:37 pm
    NZ Willy says:
    petermue: that’s known as a “shadow”.

    I wasn’t quite sure, especially about the broader spot around the mullion.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Zooming in it looks like bare ice or possibly bare ice and a bit of water on top like several other spots around the tripod. No way to guess how sound the ice is though. Depends if the ice is melting more from the top or the bottom and how “rotten” it is. It could be a couple of feet or more thick when it breaks up.

  137. The quadra-legged tripod soldiers on
    But can make it through another day?
    A strip of ice behind the tripod’s gone
    The breakup might be just a bit away

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  138. Hmm – the large snow pile they made to clear the ice to put up the tripod has just drifted off downstream so I am thinking when I wake up in the morning the tripod will have tipped. Watching the hockey playoffs, and flipping over to WUWT during commercials. Thanks for an enjoyable evening WUWT.

  139. Caleb says:

    Someone tell that fellow not to park his car under the ropes to the tower.

  140. eyesonu says:

    With a prize of $318,000 bucks I would guess that there are guards watching for anyone flying kites late at night. LOL

  141. papertiger says:

    Summary is that relative to astronomical time, breakup will be a new record if it occurs later than 8:33am tomorrow.

    If it can survive until tomorrow morning? That’s all it’s got to do?

    Might as well pop the corks. Cause that’s in the bag.

  142. Caleb says:

    Thanks. (He moved his car.) (Guess I’m just an Alarmist at heart.)

    Slightly O.T., but while we wait to see if we break a record here, we broke the record for the fewest tornadoes in any 365-day period, evah!

    On his excellent blog at the WeatherBELL Premium site, Joe D’Aleo notes the old record was 247 tornadoes – starting in June 1991. We smashed that record, with only 197 tornadoes – starting in May 2012. Those numbers will change, with big storms from Lake Superior down to Oklahoma this evening, and a tornado reported in Oklahoma, however if anyone tries to say the extreme weather is caused by Global Warming, tomorrow morning, make sure to tell them the bit of non-extreme-weather trivia Joe D’Aleo dug up.

  143. faboutlaws says:

    There is some speculation that Mann et. al. are upstream attempting to propel depth charges under the ice to avoid the inevitable jeers from the skeptics. Their Plan B is to toss a couple of virgins to the river gods as a bribe to break the ice before tomorrow. Plan B has its drawbacks in that they didn’t bring their own virgins and none are to be had. Apparently America is long past “peak virgin” and fracking will not yield a solution anytime soon.

  144. Byron says:

    philjourdan says:
    May 19, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    When the earth goes into a normal cooling cycle, will they want us to “warm” it up?
    ————————————————————————–
    I doubt it , while warmer means a more benevolent planet for almost all life on it , the idea that humanity would do better out of it too leaves the typically misanthropic “Greens” grinding their teeth . Have a look at most Green “solutions” to perceived problems , it doesn`t seem to matter if they have a negative environmental impact as long as they make things more difficult for humans ,

  145. goldminor says:

    Next year there will be a bunch of tickets marked for late May. I might have to buy a couple.

  146. GlynnMhor says:

    Seems like a steady stream of different people appear in the picture coming to take a look at the tripod.

  147. Manfred says:

    So this is what Alaska gets with a negative PDO.
    The same will happen with the Arctic and cold AMO.
    And “polar” amplification is then just a consequence of warm ocean currents running into the Arctic dead end. Antarctica didn’t warm anyways during the last 40 years.
    Did the models get it ALL wrong ?

  148. There’s a stretch of considerable heft
    That’s detached itself (look on the left)
    That departed thin ice
    Makes the prospect less nice
    But at this point, we’re hardly bereft!

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  149. Chris @NJSnowFan says:

    Still looks no movement from using group of trees on other side of river.. When ice goes out it normally looks like this. It goes quick..

  150. ECK says:

    Darn, up to now my favorite watching was the grass growing!

  151. papiertigre says:

    @ Chris @NJSnowFan says:
    May 19, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    How can you not be romantic about Alaska after watching a video like that?

    What a magical event.

  152. For anyone who wants to see where the Tower and Tripod are in the summer – check out this location in Google Earth: 64°33’52.37″N 149° 5’36.84″W Very different looking in the summer.

  153. jb frodsham says:

    Warmists all over the planet will be spewing. Ha Ha Ha.

  154. Chris @NJSnowFan says:

    This is one of my favorite ice out videos. From NH in 2011..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezcgPAptbIk&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  155. Darwin Wyatt says:

    I’ve been looking so long I’m starting to see the stay puft marshmellow man from Ghostbusters.

  156. Jack Hydrazine says:

    Someone needs to tell the DrudgeReport about this record-breaking event!

  157. Ben says:

    For those who want to see how the Tower is locked into the ice, see the photos page at the link below. Looks like they make rectangular trenches, into which about 9 legs are placed. There may also be horizontal wooden beams in the ice, at the bottom of the tower legs. It appears they also have some crosspieces cut for additional wooden beams that are placed at the bottom of the trenches, to stabilize the Tower. Then they fill the trenches with water and let them freeze.

    Scroll down on the photo page for several pictures of the installation into the ice…

    http://www.nenanaakiceclassic.com/photos.htm

  158. garymount says:

    The location of the sun, in degrees, minutes and seconds (or decimal if you prefer, or radians ) from the equator would seem to me to resolve the question on dates and leap years. This data can be easily calculated. I’d do it myself, but I have a peculiar situation in which I am writing code to do these calculations but don’t have it finished and I can’t peek at code already written by others. (proprietary reasons ).

  159. papiertigre says:

    Great. No worries then.

    Oh my God! I think I’ve jinxed it.

  160. woz says:

    Following this rivetting event with excitement from Oz! Have unsuccessfully tried to pick the actual spot on the Nenana River where the tripod is standing from Google Earth but hard to tell. Can anyone help with the actual cordinates (apologies if I’ve missed them earlier).

  161. Jimmy Haigh. says:

    It looks like the webcam is down. If I was a conspiracy theorist…

  162. Jimmy Haigh. says:

    The webcam is back up again. There is a couple and their dog watching the show at the moment.

  163. Arizona CJ says:

    @ Woz,

    For the exact coordinates for the tower on the ice, I know where it was about ten years ago when I was there, and it looks to be the same spot, though it’s possible they moved it a bit.
    64°33’58.03″N
    149° 5’36.63″W
    It’s between the highway and railroad bridges on the north side of town. The cam pics are looking north.

    Hrmm, on google earth I just spotted the clock tower’s shadow, so I think my coordinates are accurate, at least as of 2010.

  164. woz says:

    @ Arizona CJ

    Much appreciated. Yes – the clock tower’s shadow is obvious once you see it! (Ain’t it always the way?)

    :)

  165. 2 people and a dog. The pod hasn’t moved an inch !!

  166. Steve B says:

    It is 9:40 Sunday night at Nenana. Tripod still standing and three locals (I guess) standing around watching. After watching this for three days I reckon I would find it difficult living in 24 hour daylight.

  167. Steve B says:

    09:45 and we have 4 cars and 5 people, one with a video camera. That channel on the far side of the tripod is getting wider quickly. Can’t be too long now.

  168. RACookPE1978 says:

    big dark “flowing” area seems to be a little larger than what I was watching last night. (East coast now 1:57 AM DST).

    Now – What is the Alaska Daylight Savings Time vs ??? record time?
    We have found a leap year bias, is there a DST bias we need to account for as well?

    Spring forward -> We added one hour (artificially) to our apparent clock time from years past.

    On the other hand – What was the “correction” in the late 1890′s for this specific town in Alaska when “time zones” were established standard across the US – which did NOT have Alaska as a “state” yet! – from the “local solar time” that was used previously?

  169. No daylight time bias — the time is just Standard
    Alaska’s an hour behind the West Coast
    The tripod might stay, if we all here command it
    (At least ’till tomorrow, then give up the ghost)

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  170. Ian H says:

    For those who can’t stand to wait any more and need some sort of closure, this is what it is going to look like when it goes (from 2011)

  171. RACookPE1978 says:

    Well, based on the previous video,
    From right to left the river doth flow,
    That truck best move before ice’s future becomes past,
    Or it will snag the rope when the tripod goes fast.

  172. dbstealey says:

    For some excitement I’m gonna go watch the moth fly around my kitchen light…

  173. jorgekafkazar says:

    9:45 pm AKST. Sunset is in an hour or so. Sunrise is at 5 am. Breakups between 9 pm and 6 am are fairly rare, so chances of a record are about 50-50. Most likely breakup: between 6 am and 12 noon tomorrow. I’m going to bed.

  174. Rolf says:

    Classic. Someone just mooned the camera, about 12:09 AM pacific time. :-)

  175. dbstealey says:

    It’s so cold, musta been a blue moon!

  176. Here in Iceland at least one person is watching this :-)
    Local time now is 07:25 on monday morning, but 23:25 on the web camera above.
    Regards
    Agust

  177. goldminor says:

    The ice has frozen again except for the steadily widening main current. The record is 8 + hours away. Tomorrows warmth should finish the ice.

  178. Colorado Wellington says:

    Ben says:
    May 19, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    “There may also be horizontal wooden beams in the ice, at the bottom of the tower legs.”

    Yes, there is a cross-beam frame underneath that holds the legs.

    Here is a picture of the “tripod” from August 2003. It seems the construction has changed a bit—this model had a horizontal mid-section frame:

    http://www.pbase.com/henkbinnendijk/image/23089632

    Willis also has a summer picture in his May 15 post:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/15/the-icy-nenana-river

  179. See - owe to Rich says:

    At 10:12 am yesterday (and earlier on the earlier Nenana thread) I wrote “I therefore declare that 2013′s ice break-up will be a record if it occurs later than May 20th 8:33am.” This is in relation to time since the spring equinox. But someone pointed out that the records are kept in Alaskan standard time, so we have to add an hour to get Alaskan daylight savings time, so 9:33am on the webcam clock is the crucial time to break the record (by this measure, it would also be good if it beat 12:41pm webcam time to beat the actual time in 1964).

    Just over 12 hours to go to the first point.

    Rich.

  180. See - owe to Rich says:

    Sorry, I mean just over 10 hours to go.
    Rich.

  181. Colorado Wellington says:

    “Geophysicist Martin Jeffries at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks said in 2009,

    ‘The Nenana Ice Classic is a pretty good proxy for climate change in the 20th century.’”

    I don’t mind Dr. Jeffries getting some credit but we should also acknowledge earlier groundbreaking work by Stanford phenologists and AGW promoters Dr. Sagarin and Dr. Micheli:

    Raphael Sagarin
    Fiorenza Micheli
    Climate Change in Nontraditional Data Sets
    Science, sciencemag.org, volume 294, 26 OCT 2001

    “A celebrated betting pool in Alaska is providing researchers with a remarkably accurate record of global climate change, according to a new study in the journal Science. And the results show that spring is coming earlier and earlier.”

    http://news.stanford.edu/news/2001/october31/alaskabet-1031.html

    Let’s give credit where credit is due. A “remarkably accurate record” trumps a “pretty good proxy” any day of the week. And they beat Dr. Jeffries to it by 8 years.

  182. E.M.Smith says:

    I’m going to make proper English tea, with boiling water, while I wait…
    and watch the pot closely… ;-)

  183. thingodonta says:

    ‘The canary in the coal mine’?

  184. Leon0112 says:

    How does this correlate with [Arctic] ice levels?

  185. I meant Arctic ice levels.

  186. be cause says:

    and today is a day of prayer in N. Ireland for an end to the 14 month weather nightmare for farmers .. out of food and money ..

  187. Go Home says:

    “For those who can’t stand to wait any more and need some sort of closure, this is what it is going to look like when it goes (from 2011)”

    Watching IANs video of ice out on 2011, it would appear the tripod does not tip, but floats on down the river aways before ice out horn blows. There was a large bit of water between the close shore and the tripod when it started to float. So I say we easily have the record, if not at least 24 hours to go.

    I will be honest I could not watch the whole video, i had to forward to the end.

  188. NZ Willy says:

    OK, it’s 20th May now, and still standing. Can we call it the Neener-Neener ice classic yet or do we have to wait another day?

  189. John from Holt says:


    OK, it’s 20th May now, and still standing. Can we call it the Neener-Neener ice classic yet or do we have to wait another day?”

    Have to wait another day to tie, since the previousl record of May 20 was set during a leap year.

  190. faboutlaws says:

    It’s now May 20 Alaskan standard time. Break-up no earlier than the same day. I think record will be set. If nothing else I’ve enjoyed the company. Many have likened this to watching grass grow. Actually my 600 hot pepper seedlings have grown a lot more over the last few days than the tower has moved. Fingers crossed.

  191. Bob Tisdale says:

    Looks like it’s starting to sink at 1:33:49. Maybe not.

  192. faboutlaws says:

    In the video from the ’11 break-up, the ice along the shore showed considerable movement before total break-up. Little or no movement is observable in the time lapses yet.

  193. Susann Macklem says:

    Here is the Barrow Sea Ice Webcam where one can spend many hours, days, months watching the Arctic sea ice break up.

    http://seaice.alaska.edu/gi/observatories/barrow_webcam

  194. NZ Willy says:

    John from Holt: see See – [owe to Rich -- May 19, 2013 at 10:12 am] for a demolition of your concern. Anyway, the Ice Classic organizers keep it simple, good for them.

  195. Jack Simmons says:

    While we’re all waiting with bated breath for the ice break up, we can review other comparable events on the web http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/6495349/Is-the-HMRC-tax-video-the-most-boring-on-YouTube.html

  196. tobyglyn says:

    Leon0112 says:
    May 20, 2013 at 1:22 am

    “How does this correlate with [Arctic] ice levels?”

    Not sure but judging from this: Leon0112 says:
    May 20, 2013 at 1:22 am

    How does this correlate with [Arctic] ice levels?

    Not sure but judging from this:

    “Russian explorers headed home Thursday after proving it is possible to drive from Russia to Canada across the North Pole, in buses with bloated tires over drifting ice, using a pickaxe to clear the way. ”

    http://phys.org/news/2013-05-russians-russia-canada-north-pole.html

    there is still some arctic sea ice around too :)

  197. Jimbo says:

    Iceagenow reports on record snow extent for the Northern Hemisphere for the period November 2012 to April 2013 since 1966.

    Not so long ago Warmists were complaining about declining spring snow cover. This is climate change my friends and that’s why most sceptics insist that climate change is real and is happening.

    http://iceagenow.info/2013/05/snow-cover-sets-record/
    H/t
    http://icecap.us/

  198. Adamastor says:

    Thanks to:
    Colorado Wellington says: May 20, 2013 at 1:04 am
    http://news.stanford.edu/news/2001/october31/alaskabet-1031.html
    “The authors analyzed the entire Ice Classic record and discovered that, on average, the Tanana River breakup occurs 5.5 days sooner than it did back in 1917. The earliest breakup on record took place on April 20, 1998; the latest on May 20, 1964.”

    “These results show that springtime is coming earlier,” notes Sagarin. “This trend also matches up pretty well with historic temperature data from Nenana and Fairbanks.”

    “”Warmer climate would be expected to advance the time of breakup” !!!

    Someone smarter than me is going to have to plot the dates, I’m sure it’s a hockey stick that would make Marcott (sp?) blush, or not…
    May snow in the UK and Iberian Peninsula!
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2324803/UK-weather-Its-middle-May-Two-inches-snow-months-rainfall-day-65mph-winds-hit-Britain.html
    http://en-maktoob.news.yahoo.com/snow-hits-iberian-peninsula-103344277.html

    OK – I know it’s weather but I’m having fun…
    Adam

  199. @njsnowfan says:

    From the looks of the channel that has melted in the center of the river out and the previous years videos on YouTube. It may be few more days to a week before the ice out event starts.
    209 Ice break video..

  200. David says:

    Yep – freezing here in the UK – I normally (you know, ‘pre-temperature-standstill’) put my pool heat on around the middle of April – certainly not going to put it on until the beginning of June this year..!

  201. Ebeni says:

    Has someone started an over-under? Did not find in other comments after quick scan.

  202. Dave says:

    The river looks like it is melting to my untrained eye. It is going to be a close one.

    Do people bet on this? Or is it a scientific thing?

  203. Chris @NJSnowFan says:

    Breaking News,
    Al Gores Dirty Climate thugs spotted just out of web cam view up river trying to get the ice to break up before record is broken using sludge hammers and dynamite.

    LOL..Not true breaking news story , just a little Monday morning humor..

    Enjoy the paint drying on a humid day( ice break up).

  204. Meanwhile there is a lot of ice breaking up going on in the Yukon

    http://www.alaskadispatch.com/slideshow/photos-yukon-river-breakup-floods-alaska-villages

    So I’m wondering if the flooding, raising the local river levels, actually reduce the water flow of the Tenana river. If so, that could decrease the wear off of the ice and delay the Nenana event.

  205. Silver Ralph says:

    Looking at the climate comparison 1962 and 1963 were really hard winters in N Europe, as were the last three years (this winter especially so). So the 1964 record for this tripod mirrors the European climate recod for cold winters.

  206. Frank K. says:

    Bob Tisdale says:
    May 20, 2013 at 2:36 am

    It’s still hanging on, Bob :)

    Right now (9:18 EDT) it’s a frosty 28F in Nenana.

    By the way, has anyone in the weather media mentioned the record low temperatures in Nenana over the weekend??

  207. TheHermit says:

    I wager it’ll break up on May 27, 1:13PM Alaska time.

  208. Frank K. says:

    Well, I’ll be ready to toast a NEW RECORD for the Nenana Ice Classic at 3:42 PM EDT today…
    :)

  209. @njsnowfan says:

    Anyone live near the Nenana river that post on this trend? Someone has to get some off the ice when the breakup starts. E-bay, Record breaking ice for sale….???

  210. styleyd says:

    So 9:33 on the webcam clock would be a new record?

  211. Steve Divine says:

    Current record is 11:41 AM AST / 12:41 PM ADT so web cam will have to show 12:42 (ADT, which would be 11:42 AST).

  212. Kevin Kilty says:

    Susan Corwin says:
    May 19, 2013 at 9:56 am
    I believe a person could argue a 1/4 day delta for an apples to apples (err ice break to ice break) record. 2012 was a leap year and we are 1/4 day/6 hours behind from a solar perspective. I must view negatively anyone pontificating that the human calendar dominates the solar calendar….

    What about the academic calendar?

  213. Jimmy Haigh. says:

    I’d fancy a chunk of that record breaking Nenana ice in my Macallan’s 18 YO. (If I took ice in my whisky, that is. Being a true Scotsman, of course, I drink my whisky neat.)

  214. Steve Divine says:

    In this case the only clock and calendar that count are the ones used by the Nenana Ice Classic.

  215. Jimmy Haigh. says:

    According to Google Earth at the moment the temperatures are -2C near Nenana and -8C up river at the moment. (28F to 15F more or less…)

  216. Jay says:

    To mark this exciting event I would like to dedicate a song to the IPCC..

    Far more fitting than it should be..

  217. philjourdan says:

    @Frank K – since the time is in standard, and the east cost is on Daylight, I think that pushes it another hour. Make it 4:42 EDT.

  218. Jimmy Haigh. says:

    “In the end, it will go quite quickly…”

  219. Larry Ledwick (hotrod) says:

    I think it is important to keep in mind we are talking about two different records here.
    The first is the Nenanna classic record by their own clock that is only dependent on their time measuring system.

    Second is the meteorological proxy record for temperature as indicated by the ice breakup. As noted up thread probably the best way to measure that would be the time elapsed since the winter solstice on both 1964 (and other previous breakup dates/times) and the current year. By using that measure you bypass all manner of debate over how to treat leap years and such.

    Does not matter a lot in the real world but fun to watch the paint dry and consider mother nature is trying to tell us something here.

  220. Dave says:

    Is it normal for there to be a large temperature increase during the day in Alaska at this time of year? From what I can see of the weather forecasts, things are really going to warm up over the next couple of days.

  221. philjourdan says:

    @Steve Divine – I was unsure if Alaska went on Daylight, so I just did the change from EDT. Thanks for the information. But do they really need to save daylight when they get 20 hours of it? ;-)

  222. Mike says:

    From the NWS:

    FLOOD WATCH
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FAIRBANKS AK
    439 PM AKDT SUN MAY 19 2013

    AKZ221-210000-
    /O.NEW.PAFG.FA.A.0003.130523T0000Z-130525T0000Z/
    /00000.0.IJ.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.OO/
    CENTRAL INTERIOR-
    INCLUDING…NENANA…ANDERSON…TANANA…MINTO…
    MANLEY HOT SPRINGS…RAMPART…LAKE MINCHUMINA…LIVENGOOD
    439 PM AKDT SUN MAY 19 2013

    …FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH FRIDAY
    AFTERNOON FOR THE YUKON RIVER FROM RAMPART TO TANANA…

    THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN FAIRBANKS HAS ISSUED A

    * FLOOD WATCH FOR THE YUKON RIVER FROM RAMPART TO TANANA

    * FROM WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH FRIDAY AFTERNOON

    * THE BREAKUP FRONT ON THE UPPER YUKON RIVER WAS LOCATED BETWEEN
    CIRCLE AND FORT YUKON SUNDAY AFTERNOON. THE SURGE OF WATER AND
    ICE ASSOCIATED WITH THIS BREAKUP FRONT CAUSED MAJOR FLOODING IN
    CIRCLE SUNDAY. IT IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE DOWNRIVER AND REACH
    RAMPART AND THEN TANANA BETWEEN WEDNESDAY AND FRIDAY.

    * THE RIVER WATCH TEAM HAS DETERMINED THAT THE ICE FROM FORT YUKON
    TO STEVENS VILLAGE APPEARS TO BE DETERIORATING…ARCHED AND
    LIFTING. THE SURGE OF WATER AND ICE ASSOCIATED WITH THE BREAKUP
    FRONT IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE TO TRAVEL DOWNRIVER STEADILY AND
    BECOME MORE SPREAD OUT REDUCING THE AMOUNT THE RIVER WILL RISE.
    HOWEVER ANY RESISTANCE TO THE ONCOMING BREAKUP FRONT COULD ALLOW
    THE WATER TO AGAIN COLLECT BEHIND AN ICE JAM AND INCREASE THE
    FLOOD RISK TO DOWNSTREAM COMMUNITIES.

    PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

    A FLOOD WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR FLOODING BASED ON
    CURRENT FORECASTS.

    RESIDENTS SHOULD MONITOR CONDITIONS AND TAKE PRECAUTIONS EARLY TO
    PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY. WATER LEVELS CAN RISE VERY QUICKLY WHEN
    AN ICE JAM OCCURS DOWNSTREAM OF A COMMUNITY.

    YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE ALERT FOR POSSIBLE
    FLOOD WARNINGS. THOSE LIVING IN AREAS PRONE TO FLOODING SHOULD BE
    PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLOODING DEVELOP.

    &&

    $$

  223. Jay says:

    Warmist response adjusted for political / financial consumption..

    Hardly surprising at all..

  224. Jimmy Haigh. says:

    97% of viewers are warm-mongers willing (and probably praying0 for the tripod to fall.

  225. Hal Des says:

    I can’t help but think that I am watching this piece of metal on ice with the entire WUWT community. What an eclectic bonding moment (or several hours, or day or two – whatever it be).

  226. Here is a Panaramio picture of the bridge just downstream (to the left) of the tripod. Nothing easy for scale, if there is 15′ clearance at the first truss, it looks like 20′ above the ice level.
    http://www.panoramio.com/photo_explorer#view=photo&position=2226&with_photo_id=33542027&order=date_desc&user=765658

    http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20130519/circle-hit-major-flooding-yukon-river-surges
    “A flood watch has been issued for … Nenana, …. from Wednesday afternoon to Friday Afternoon.”

  227. faboutlaws says:

    As my wife left for work this morning she asked, “If the ice breaks up today, any chance of getting you back?” Maybe I’ll hold out for a better offer.

  228. Jimmy Haigh. says:

    faboutlaws says:
    May 20, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Anthony? Sometimes… Just sometimes… That “Like” button is needed…

    +1

  229. DaveD says:

    1964 was also the year of the Good Friday earthquake (March 27).

  230. Frank K. says:

    philjourdan says:
    May 20, 2013 at 7:26 am

    @Frank K – since the time is in standard, and the east cost is on Daylight, I think that pushes it another hour. Make it 4:42 EDT.

    Duly noted. I thought the difference was 4 hours – not that it matters much at this point. Even if the tripod goes down before 4:42 EDT, the current position of #2 all time is solidly in the record books.

    Not that this event is a proxy for anything. I mean climatologists NEVER EVER use weather-related events to make the claim for global “warming” – NEVER!

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/10/09/trenberth-still-hyping-extreme-weather-events-and-climate-change/

  231. JJ says:

    Two hours to a new record!

    (Measured as time from solstice, to avoid leap year issues)

  232. TomB says:

    Jimmy Haigh. says:
    May 20, 2013 at 7:16 am

    I’d fancy a chunk of that record breaking Nenana ice in my Macallan’s 18 YO. (If I took ice in my whisky, that is. Being a true Scotsman, of course, I drink my whisky neat.)

    I too refuse to pollute my fine single malt Scotch with anything. But I’ve found these to be useful:
    https://www.thinkgeek.com/brain/whereisit.cgi?t=whiskey+stones

    So, if I understand correctly, the quadrapod needs to stand until after 4:42pm EDT in order to break the record?

  233. Ric Werme says:

    Steve Divine says:
    May 20, 2013 at 7:05 am

    > Current record is 11:41 AM AST / 12:41 PM ADT so web cam will have to show 12:42 (ADT, which would be 11:42 AST).

    Just to be completely anal, AST is the Atlantic timezone. The webcam reports AKDT (Alaska Daylight Time), the Ice Classic Brochure and many other items use AKST, presumably to accommodate any guesses across the shift from standard to daylight time. Remember that Daylight Time used to start later in the year but the mole rats in Congress keep messing with it. So while these years pre daylight time would be an alarmists dream, it wasn’t in the past when daylight time started on the last Sunday in April.

  234. Ric Werme says:

    TomB says:
    May 20, 2013 at 8:40 am

    > So, if I understand correctly, the quadrapod needs to stand until after 4:42pm EDT in order to break the record?

    That’s what my mental math says, checked multiple ways. Ignore the time since solstice folks, diurnal effects swamp any solar declination differences. (The equinox begins at declination 0°, when the center of the Sun passes the equator heading north. Well, slightly north of due west.)

  235. John F. Hultquist says:

    Jimmy Haigh. says:
    May 20, 2013 at 7:16 am
    “Being a true Scotsman, of course, I drink my whisky neat.

    Of course you do, but in smoke-filled back rooms American politicians established the tradition of picking candidates ‘who could win’ while smoking cigars and having bourbon and branch.

  236. Gary Pearse says:

    As noted earlier by Henry P, 1964 was a leap year so we might have to wait another 24 hours more for the true record.

  237. Jimmy Haigh. says:

    I’m watching this while drinking a few beers at home. I ran out of cold ones so put a new one up top in the ice box. It’s a fine line: if the beer hasn’t been up top for long enough it’s not at optimum temperature, so you tend to drink it too fast thus not allowing the next beer to be at optimum temperature either. I’m practicing great restraint here in allowing the next one a few more minutes to reach “tipping point”.

    I could always pop open a bottle of 21 YO Aberfeldy I suppose… A very fine single malt from my home town – and one which I thoroughly recommend. (And to any warm-mongers out there – I am not in the pay of big whisky. Either…)

  238. JJ says:

    Gary Pearse says:

    As noted earlier by Henry P, 1964 was a leap year so we might have to wait another 24 hours more for the true record.

    No. The record according to the Nenana books comes at 11:41 AKST (a bit more than 3 1/2 hours from now). The “true” record – eliminating calendar issues by measuring from the solstice – comes less than 1 1/2 hours from now.

  239. Ryan-p says:

    I think the leap year issue has been handled well by others above, but I still see people bringing it up. Leap year and the year after a leap year does not make much of a difference, approximately six hours of variation. If you magically took away 1964′s leap year the record would indeed be on May 21st, but also remember without that leap day today would be May 21st 2013 as well.

  240. Ed Zuiderwijk says:

    Ric Werme, 19 may 1:15

    “The authors suggested that growing winter ice in the Bering Sea — the result of cooler surface temperatures — led to lower temperatures across nearly all of Alaska.”

    That must be a mistake since it implies that if there was less ice and more open water it would be warmer. And don’t we all know that less ice on the Artic Ocean itself leads to colder winters in Europe?

  241. Greg Goodman says:

    Rik: ” diurnal effects swamp any solar declination differences. ”
    Its the declination differences which cause the thing to freeze and melt in the first place,you seem to be over looking that.

    If diurnal effects swamp it , it would melt and freeze every day of the year.

    So if we want to know whether it melts after 149 days or 150 days we’d better work out what zero is. A variable administrative calendar that jumps back and forth is fine for a bet but may not be the most useful for a climate proxy.

  242. Daid Reese says:

    Winter Solstice of 1963 was December 22 at 4:02 am AST
    Nenana Ice Breakup was May 20, 1964 at 11:41 am AST
    The interval was 150 days, 7 hours and 39 minutes
    Winter Solstice of 1964 was December 21 at 1:12 am AST
    An equivalent interval gives the time to beat of
    May 20, 2013 at 8:51 am AST.
    Cheers (in a half hour)!

  243. john says:

    so Spring has been coming to the Alaskan interior about 10 days earlier than in 1960. who allowed that in?

  244. DR says:

    Ed Zuiderwijk says:
    May 20, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Ric Werme, 19 may 1:15

    “The authors suggested that growing winter ice in the Bering Sea — the result of cooler surface temperatures — led to lower temperatures across nearly all of Alaska.”

    That must be a mistake since it implies that if there was less ice and more open water it would be warmer. And don’t we all know that less ice on the Artic Ocean itself leads to colder winters in Europe?

    Mark Serreze said the Bering Sea ice growth was a fluke in 2010.

  245. Duster says:

    Gary Pearse says:
    May 20, 2013 at 8:50 am

    As noted earlier by Henry P, 1964 was a leap year so we might have to wait another 24 hours more for the true record.

    You need to read some of the earlier discussions. Last year was a leap year, so the delay is more like six hours (or possibly less – ca. three hours, since we’re only partway through the year) if you want to account for a leap year. I doubt that the residents of Nenana actually care about that and will declare the breakup based on the calender date. There are commenters above who have worked out the details. One other delay is that Alaska actually shifts to day-light-savings time in the summer for some peculiar reason. In the summer, darkness is a relative affair, and in the winter in Fairbanks there’s no particular distinction between dawn and dusk. If any place in the US doesn’t need to “save” daylight, it is Alaska.

  246. Keith says:

    Well, there’s the record (unofficially – not that I’m in a position to speak in an official capacity…)

  247. See - owe to Rich says:

    So 9:33 on the webcam clock would be a new record?
    Steve Divine says:
    May 20, 2013 at 7:05 am

    Current record is 11:41 AM AST / 12:41 PM ADT so web cam will have to show 12:42 (ADT, which would be 11:42 AST).

    If you look at my postings on this, I at least will be celebrating the record in about 20 minutes time, 18:33BST, 09:33 Alaskan daylight savings time.

    Rich.

  248. DR says: May 20, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Mark Serreze said the Bering Sea ice growth was a fluke in 2010.

    Apparently there’s a lot of fluke around theses days…:
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.2.html

  249. Duster says: May 20, 2013 at 9:42 am

    One other delay is that Alaska actually shifts to day-light-savings time in the summer for some peculiar reason.

    “The Nenana Ice Classic does not change to Daylight Savings Time. All times are Alaska Standard Time.”
    http://www.nenanaakiceclassic.com/tickets.htm

  250. Jimmy Haigh. says:

    I do wish those people would leave their SUV’s at home…

  251. philjourdan says:

    Duster says:
    May 20, 2013 at 9:42 am

    If any place in the US doesn’t need to “save” daylight, it is Alaska.

    Well, if they could “save” it for 6 months, I am sure they would enjoy it more! ;-)

  252. faboutlaws says:

    Thank goodness it’s not Sandra Fluke.

  253. mom2girls says:

    Has the image frozen at 9:17:16 local time for anyone else?

  254. SCheesman says:

    Yes, it’s frozen for me too… looks like someone doesn’t want to let the world see the record be broken!

  255. mom2girls says:
    May 20, 2013 at 10:24 am
    Has the image frozen at 9:17:16 local time for anyone else?

    Now 9:28:48

  256. Larry Ledwick (hotrod) says:

    All the watchers are probably pounding the crap out of their web cam server.
    ;)

  257. mom2girls says:

    It’s back now. Strange. Wish there was a camera on the camera :P

  258. Jimmy Haigh. says:

    It had frozen but the latest image I have is from 09:30:15. Pretty much up to date even from 12 time zones ahead. She’s looking good. The record might be blown out of the water this year…

  259. mom2girls says:

    Now the campers are showing up. I’d love to know how many guesses in the pool were actually for date/time after the 1964 record.

  260. Larry Ledwick (hotrod) says:

    Currently 38 deg F with a wind at 6 from the west north west (ie down stream) forecast for high of 72 deg F and partly cloudy today, so my guess is it will go in the next 5-6 hours.

  261. Larry Ledwick (hotrod) says:

    The locals will have clues we don’t like the sound of the ice and calls from friends up stream etc. I suspect we will see quite a crowd show up when it gets close, based on those videos of earlier ice out events.

  262. mom2girls says:

    Looks like an oldtimers gathering right now. Full moon on the 24th. It’ll definitely be gone by then.

  263. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    09:31 SUV and some people

    09:33 Camper pulls up on left side, by the viewpoint it looks like camper ran over a rope.
    Looked like red top of tower fell over, actually that appears to be a windsock.

    09:38 Camper gone.

    Truthfully, I have found watching paint dry to be more fun. A small propane torch was involved, if that matters.

  264. JJ says:

    Measuring from the equinox, a new record has been set.

    Measuring from the solstice, a new record in 5 minutes.

    By Nenana calendar scoring, less than three hours to go …

  265. Jimmy Haigh. says:

    97% of all global temperature proxies agree that the Earth is entering a strong cooling phase…

  266. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From mom2girls on May 20, 2013 at 10:44 am:

    Full moon on the 24th.

    Check the Nenana lunar post, full moon was already seen.

  267. mom2girls says:

    *snork*. I guess that WAS a full moon. How attractive. What was the low last night, 20′s?

    Wonder how much dude lost betting against an unforseen record. LOL

  268. Jimmy Haigh. says:

    Is there a strong wind from the right (upstream)? The cables are moving around quite a bit at the moment. By eyeballing the tripod/quodripod on the small clump of trees on the opposite bank of the river nothing has moved yet.

  269. Larry Ledwick (hotrod) says:

    http://www.wunderground.com/weather-forecast/US/AK/Nenana.html

    shows 6 mph gusting to 9 right now, temp is up to 41.

  270. Argiris Diamantis says:

    It is true that 1964, the year of the previous record, was a leap year. On the other hand, 1964 was in between solar cycles 19 and 20. This year 2013, we are supposed to reach the top of the very weak solar cycle 24. Looking at the break up Log, most late break up records are established when solar activity is low, so a break up record during the top of a solar cycle is really something special.

  271. LexingtonGreen says:

    Not sure this link will work, but as we watch this ice event in Nenana, major problems in Circle with Yukon River flooding: https://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=513782642008467&set=a.146147645438637.42652.137686999618035&type=1

  272. Larry Ledwick (hotrod) says:

    For those of you trying to spot first motion they have a high resolution option for this camera too:

    http://www.borealisbroadband.net/vid-nenanamega.htm

  273. Wharfplank says:

    Films, music and cars have” instant classics”. WUWT has instant obsession. I was kinda normal before this began.

  274. George says:

    Can’t last much longer. Today is the day…

  275. This is helpful Alaska Breakup Map from NOAA;
    http://aprfc.arh.noaa.gov/data/maps/brkup_map.jpg

    and here is NOAA’s Nenana breakup database;
    http://aprfc.arh.noaa.gov/php/brkup/brkupall.php?searcharea=Tanana&searchtermriv=Tanana&searchtermloc=Nenana

    which appears to match the dates listed in the Nenana Ice Classic Breakup Log:
    http://www.nenanaakiceclassic.com/Breakup%20Log.html

  276. Psalmon says:

    Six guys bet on the ice breakup of their local river, beginning only a few years after the Wright brother’s first flight, settling the results with a couple rounds of hooch.

    Now, 107 years later, we can watch the breakup live from virtually anywhere in the world, an event that’s tangentially referenced in a global political struggle and sometimes scientific debate.

    Hardly grass growing.

  277. mom2girls says:

    JustTheFacts:

    It would appear from your link(s) that most breakups are running near or after record late dates.

  278. Rolf says:

    Any web-sites that also cary audio as well? I imagine that the sound of all that stuff breaking loose at once would be impressive.

  279. Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:

    I wager that next year when the breakup is at a more typical time, we’ll get a deluge of stories about the “alarming” acceleration in earlier breakup dates.

  280. mom2girls says: May 20, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    It would appear from your link(s) that most breakups are running near or after record late dates.

    Yes, if one hovers over of the dots on the following map you can see the Average Breakup Date for each location and if you click on the dots you’ll see each locations Breakup Database:
    http://aprfc.arh.noaa.gov/index_breakup.php

    Nenana may not be the only record broken this year…

  281. Bloke down the pub says:

    Is that James Hansen on the ice with a chainsaw?

  282. TerryMN says:

    Crowd starting to form – it hasn’t moved yet AFAICT, but looks like it’s getting close…

  283. Bloke down the pub says:

    We have a record breaker.

  284. Stevec says:

    Ahhhhh… I don’t think I can see James now but I still see the “tripod”!

  285. Richard Keen says:

    Records, like ice, are made to be broken.

  286. Chris R. says:

    11:43:26 AKDT, still standing. Less than 1 hour to the simple
    calendar record!

    As has been noted, computing in various different fashions,
    (e.g., time since equinox), the record has already been broken.

  287. papertiger says:

    II:51 she holds fast. Heh. Whew, I’m off the hook.

  288. Gary Pearse says:

    If this classic could be bet on globally, the revenue for this town would be colossal and the prize would be, too. Only downside is that the prize may not be won locally very often.

  289. Almost Miller time, don’t let us down. add a day or so to silence the leap year arguments, etc.

  290. Gary Pearse says:

    The small crowd are probably the ones that still can hope to win.

  291. mom2girls says:

    It’s 12:30ish local time. This may be a sightseer lunch crowd. Supposedly there’s a good place or two to eat around there.

  292. TerryMN says:

    Ten minutes!

  293. jbird says:

    “Is that James Hansen on the ice with a chainsaw?”

    Nah. That’s a hockey stick he’s holding.

  294. AnonyMoose says:

    “It’s 12:30ish local time. This may be a sightseer lunch crowd. Supposedly there’s a good place or two to eat around there.”
    I believe it’s an all-you-can-catch place. :)

    Quite a few cars, only a few minutes to go for the Standard/Daylight boundary.

  295. J Calvert N says:

    Between 10am and 12:30pm there has been a few inches of discernible movement.

  296. Mitch H. says:

    Looks like it maybe moved a couple feet downstream?

  297. Larry Ledwick (hotrod) says:

    Looking on street view google maps where they place the tower is just down the street from the State of Alaska rail road museum, Nenana Depot at A and Front street, which is across the street from the “Moochers Bar” and Kristi’s Cusine. Might as well take a virtual drive around the town while we are waiting for the Ice Out. ;)

    Google maps @ 64.564227,-149.095789

  298. sane_voter says:

    I think we have a new record . . .

  299. Patricia says:

    I was born in 1945 and graduated in 1964 . I still have several guess in. I went with my gut feeling!!!!!!!!!!!!

  300. Karl B. says:

    @ Mitch H.

    Looks like camera angle slightly changed…rather than the tripod moving down stream.

  301. Steve D says:

    And it’s done… the record belongs to 2013

  302. papiertigre says:

    I don’t see any movement. Compared to the pics from a few days ago.

    Otoh that crowd probably heard something on the wireless.

  303. AnonyMoose says:

    12:47 on the webcam. A lot of water nearby now. Decreasing chance of lunchtime crowd, increasing chance of the crowd being here for the drama.

  304. Auto says:

    Never heard of this proxy before.
    Seems we’ve beaten the record [depending on who measures it].
    I’m looking at better insulation here in the UK [about 51 N - some 800 n. m. south of Nenana] – as we’ve had a couple of grisly years.
    The Olympics squeaked through with the best weather for a twelvemonth [someone, somewhere owes the Big Man one!].
    Otherwise it’s may, nearly freezing some evenings, much [mostly moderate or light] rain – and scarcely a sighting of a strange, unfamiliar yellow disc in the heavens.
    London isn’t Alaska – but we’ve got watermelonistas, too, running our Energy ‘policy’ – so brownouts by 2018 – ever the optimist . . . . .
    FFS this is the UK!
    Plainly the Cameroons and their delightful DimLeb partners do not have a blind clue about what is necessary for society to avoid plunging into a black void.
    And some of them wonder why the UK Independence Party [UKIP] gets so many votes!
    Disconnect level forty-five!!!

    Right – I’m off to bring my blood pressure down!

    Auto

  305. philincalifornia says:

    “The Nenana Ice Classic is a pretty good proxy for climate change in the 20th century.”

    Maybe it’s a pretty good proxy for global temperature fabrication in the 21st century ?

  306. Chris R. says:

    13:02:09 AKDT = 12:02:09 AKST, so the record is now official.

    Good thing, too: that ice is looking mighty fragile. I doubt that
    the breakup will be delayed more than a few hours from now.

  307. Larry Ledwick (hotrod) says:

    I’m not so sure it is as fragile as folks think, just 2 weeks ago it was 40 inches thick.
    I suspect a lot of that is just melt water ponds on the top of the ice.

  308. It’s clear the Nenana records need serious adjustment ;-)

  309. H.R. says:

    Weather is not climate, except when it is. ;o)

    This really isn’t good news. Warmer is better.

  310. mom2girls says:

    It looks like ice pieces moving in the channel that appears to be behind the tripod. It may be just about time now.

  311. Ric Werme says:

    Larry Ledwick (hotrod) says:
    May 20, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    > I’m not so sure it is as fragile as folks think, just 2 weeks ago it was 40 inches thick.
    I suspect a lot of that is just melt water ponds on the top of the ice.

    In past years ice out has often happened with 40″ of ice. We’re talking river, not pond.

    In one of the Ice Classic’s posts, they said they stopped measuring ice depth because it was getting too dangerous.

  312. Stevec says:

    Due to the well-known “Pyramid Cooling Effect”, the heat from the water has been focused up and out for quite some time which keeps the ice thicker directly underneath. The same thing happens when you put on a cowboy hat, sorta.. kinda… in a round-about way.

  313. @njsnowfan says:

    Ice chunks starting to flow in center of river where water is over the ice, Good sign for breakup to start. Should not be long now

  314. AndyL says:

    It’s clear that warming in the 21st Century has gone to the bottom of the river (below 700mm) and no longer warms the surface. Thus the ice lasts longer even though there is more heat in the water. This is evidence that global warming has continued, and it is entirely consistent both with our previous predictions and with our new theory.

  315. papiertigre says:

    For the guy who took 2 o’clock, sorry. Pole’s straight as a string.

    Better luck next year.

  316. Kev-in-Uk says:

    AndyL says:
    May 20, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    This new theory – it wouldn’t have anything to do with ‘Invisible thermal energy’by any chance? perhaps,like Dark Matter – we can have Dark Thermal Energy???? (Oh damn – expecting KT et al to jump on this asap!)

  317. be cause says:

    move on folks .. nothin’ happening here .. come back tomorrow ..

  318. be cause says:

    does not the local logging help cool the region .?

  319. faboutlaws says:

    I think we need to burn a lot more coal to help the tower fall. Where’s that CO2 when you need it?

  320. Mitch H. says:

    Damn, the red truck I was using as a yardstick has driven off.

  321. JJ says:

    … and its gone.

  322. Larry Ledwick (hotrod) says:

    Ice out has occurred sometime after 15:00 and prior to 15:43 AKDT

  323. Warren in New Zealand says:

    15.44.45 It’s gone!

  324. John B. says:

    And… it’s gone!

  325. Go HOme says:

    Looks like the tripod is missing.

  326. @njsnowfan says:

    at 15:40:14 to 1540:30 went out got pict just before I was using live cam shot 15:40:14 when chunks started moving the tripod moved some..http://www.borealisbroadband.net/vid-nenanamega.htm

  327. Patrick says:

    Well that *was* fun! :)

  328. M.C. Kinville says:

    Perhaps no one is following this, but I still find the pace of season change here quite amazing. This website shows info from the Nenana webcam for each day of the month, some weather data, and has a video replay for each day as well.

    http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/Adam12/1/show.html

Comments are closed.