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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Oughtsix
May 19, 2013 8:34 am

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

Kevin Kilty
May 19, 2013 8:38 am

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

Scientists impaled on imprudent, overconfident generalizations.

Ian H
May 19, 2013 8:39 am

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.

Don B
May 19, 2013 8:41 am

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.

TerryMN
May 19, 2013 8:43 am

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

May 19, 2013 8:54 am

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

Jantar
May 19, 2013 8:56 am

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.

May 19, 2013 8:59 am

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)

May 19, 2013 9:00 am

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

Harold Ambler
May 19, 2013 9:01 am

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.

May 19, 2013 9:01 am

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

Louis
May 19, 2013 9:02 am

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

May 19, 2013 9:04 am

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.

TerryMN
May 19, 2013 9:07 am

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.

John F. Hultquist
May 19, 2013 9:12 am

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?

Mike jarosz
May 19, 2013 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?

May 19, 2013 9:21 am

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.

John F. Hultquist
May 19, 2013 9:23 am

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

Ian H
May 19, 2013 9:23 am

Almost as exciting as Norwegian Television.

richcar 1225
May 19, 2013 9:24 am

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

TerryMN
May 19, 2013 9:25 am

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.

Pamela Gray
May 19, 2013 9:31 am

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.

May 19, 2013 9:35 am

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.

Jay
May 19, 2013 9:40 am

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.

TerryMN
May 19, 2013 9:43 am

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. 🙂

Gary Pearse
May 19, 2013 9:43 am

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.

Thomas Mahany
May 19, 2013 9:44 am

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

captainfish
May 19, 2013 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.

Jeff Norman
May 19, 2013 9:47 am

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.”

Mungman
May 19, 2013 9:49 am

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….

Susan Corwin
May 19, 2013 9:56 am

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.

See - owe to Rich
May 19, 2013 10:12 am

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.

Jeff Norman
May 19, 2013 10:16 am

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]

Paul
May 19, 2013 10:22 am

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.

Go Home
May 19, 2013 10:24 am

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.

May 19, 2013 10:25 am

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.

Luther Wu
May 19, 2013 10:28 am

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

Go Home
May 19, 2013 10:30 am

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.

Jimmy Haigh.
May 19, 2013 10:37 am

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.

Tom J
May 19, 2013 10:43 am

‘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.

Go Home
May 19, 2013 10:48 am

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.

Editor
May 19, 2013 10:52 am

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

Ian Evans
May 19, 2013 10:53 am

‘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!

TerryMN
May 19, 2013 10:58 am

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

Nice! Thanks Willis.

Editor
May 19, 2013 11:01 am

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.

Jimmy Haigh.
May 19, 2013 11:03 am

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

Luther Wu
May 19, 2013 11:15 am

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.

Luther Wu
May 19, 2013 11:28 am

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.

Luther Wu
May 19, 2013 11:29 am

1527AKDT 5/19/2013

Greg Goodman
May 19, 2013 11:33 am

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.

May 19, 2013 11:36 am

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

Greg Goodman
May 19, 2013 11:36 am

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 🙁

Admin
May 19, 2013 11:38 am

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

May 19, 2013 11:40 am

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.

May 19, 2013 11:42 am

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.

John Blake
May 19, 2013 11:43 am

“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.

May 19, 2013 11:47 am

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”.

May 19, 2013 11:49 am

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

See - owe to Rich
May 19, 2013 11:59 am

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

M Courtney
May 19, 2013 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?

May 19, 2013 12:06 pm

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

tcvaughn
May 19, 2013 12:06 pm

“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

Jim Cripwell
May 19, 2013 12:11 pm

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.

Editor
May 19, 2013 12:13 pm

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.

R. Shearer
May 19, 2013 12:15 pm

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.

Jimmy Haigh.
May 19, 2013 12:29 pm

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…

Greg Goodman
May 19, 2013 12:32 pm

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.

Hoser
May 19, 2013 12:42 pm

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

rtj1211
May 19, 2013 12:48 pm

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…….

Werner Brozek
May 19, 2013 12:56 pm

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?

rpielke
May 19, 2013 12:58 pm

An informative article on the recent winters in Alaska – http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20130517/cold-hard-facts-new-century-frigid-alaska

May 19, 2013 1:00 pm

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

Editor
May 19, 2013 1:03 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.

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.

Gunga Din
May 19, 2013 1:07 pm

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.

Patrick
May 19, 2013 1:08 pm

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

Greg Goodman
May 19, 2013 1:08 pm

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.

Billy Liar
May 19, 2013 1:10 pm

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?

ryan_p
May 19, 2013 1:14 pm

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

jorgekafkazar
May 19, 2013 1:15 pm

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

Editor
May 19, 2013 1:15 pm

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.”

Pat Frank
May 19, 2013 1:17 pm

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

Editor
May 19, 2013 1:19 pm

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

NZ Willy
May 19, 2013 1:23 pm

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.

McKenzie
May 19, 2013 1:23 pm

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

Greg Goodman
May 19, 2013 1:26 pm

“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.

Jimbo
May 19, 2013 1:34 pm

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

Jimbo
May 19, 2013 1:52 pm

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……….

Hoser
May 19, 2013 1:55 pm

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.

Mike M
May 19, 2013 2:03 pm

Witchcraft! Three concrete blocks were turned into a car!

Louis Hooffstetter
May 19, 2013 2:03 pm

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

be cause
May 19, 2013 2:09 pm

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 …

Rud Istvan
May 19, 2013 2:21 pm

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.

May 19, 2013 2:30 pm

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.

May 19, 2013 2:33 pm

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.

Steve in SC
May 19, 2013 2:40 pm

This is almost as exciting as golf on the radio.

NZ Willy
May 19, 2013 2:47 pm

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.

May 19, 2013 2:52 pm

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…

May 19, 2013 2:55 pm

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

akadriver
May 19, 2013 2:58 pm

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.

Kev-in-Uk
May 19, 2013 3:03 pm

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

Taphonomic
May 19, 2013 3:03 pm

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

Editor
May 19, 2013 3:14 pm

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.

May 19, 2013 3:14 pm

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.

Justthinkin
May 19, 2013 3:32 pm

“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!

Chewer
May 19, 2013 3:33 pm

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.

Berényi Péter
May 19, 2013 3:47 pm

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.

David Chappell
May 19, 2013 3:54 pm

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!

Greg Goodman
May 19, 2013 3:55 pm

“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.

Andrew Russell
May 19, 2013 3:56 pm

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

Greg Goodman
May 19, 2013 3:58 pm

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.

mom2girls
May 19, 2013 3:58 pm

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

G P Hanner
May 19, 2013 4:25 pm

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

May 19, 2013 4:26 pm

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

Fred Martushev
May 19, 2013 4:40 pm

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

Luther Wu
May 19, 2013 5:00 pm

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.

Luther Wu
May 19, 2013 5:01 pm

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

Luther Wu
May 19, 2013 5:03 pm

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

Fred Martushev
May 19, 2013 5:14 pm

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

May 19, 2013 5:16 pm

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.

phlogiston
May 19, 2013 5:17 pm

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.

D. Cohen
May 19, 2013 5:24 pm

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.

petermue
May 19, 2013 5:25 pm

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

May 19, 2013 5:28 pm

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.

NZ Willy
May 19, 2013 5:30 pm

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.

Fred Martushev
May 19, 2013 5:35 pm

Ye…… Call Mr.All Gore and ask Q???

petermue
May 19, 2013 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.

DirkH
May 19, 2013 5:44 pm

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/

tchannon
May 19, 2013 5:47 pm

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.

May 19, 2013 6:15 pm

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

May 19, 2013 6:26 pm

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.

May 19, 2013 6:42 pm

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

May 19, 2013 6:43 pm

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.

May 19, 2013 6:59 pm

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

eyesonu
May 19, 2013 7:08 pm

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

papertiger
May 19, 2013 7:17 pm

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.

May 19, 2013 7:17 pm

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.

faboutlaws
May 19, 2013 7:31 pm

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.

Byron
May 19, 2013 7:58 pm

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 ,

May 19, 2013 8:06 pm

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

GlynnMhor
May 19, 2013 8:25 pm

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

Manfred
May 19, 2013 8:26 pm

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 ?

May 19, 2013 8:32 pm

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

Chris @NJSnowFan
May 19, 2013 8:34 pm

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..

ECK
May 19, 2013 8:36 pm

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

papiertigre
May 19, 2013 8:40 pm

@ 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.

May 19, 2013 8:41 pm

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.

May 19, 2013 8:54 pm

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

Chris @NJSnowFan
May 19, 2013 9:04 pm

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

May 19, 2013 9:11 pm

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

Jack Hydrazine
May 19, 2013 9:31 pm

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

Ben
May 19, 2013 9:37 pm

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

garymount
May 19, 2013 9:45 pm

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 ).

papiertigre
May 19, 2013 9:47 pm

Great. No worries then.
Oh my God! I think I’ve jinxed it.

woz
May 19, 2013 10:00 pm

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).

Jimmy Haigh.
May 19, 2013 10:09 pm

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

Jimmy Haigh.
May 19, 2013 10:25 pm

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

Arizona CJ
May 19, 2013 10:26 pm

@ 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.

woz
May 19, 2013 10:33 pm

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

May 19, 2013 10:33 pm

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

Steve B
May 19, 2013 10:45 pm

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.

Steve B
May 19, 2013 10:47 pm

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.

RACookPE1978
Editor
May 19, 2013 11:01 pm

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?

May 19, 2013 11:11 pm

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

Ian H
May 19, 2013 11:21 pm

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)

RACookPE1978
Editor
May 19, 2013 11:38 pm

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.

May 19, 2013 11:41 pm

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

jorgekafkazar
May 19, 2013 11:45 pm

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.

May 20, 2013 12:10 am

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

May 20, 2013 12:18 am

It’s so cold, musta been a blue moon!

May 20, 2013 12:28 am

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

May 20, 2013 12:28 am

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

Colorado Wellington
May 20, 2013 12:29 am

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

See - owe to Rich
May 20, 2013 12:30 am

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.

See - owe to Rich
May 20, 2013 12:32 am

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

Colorado Wellington
May 20, 2013 1:04 am

“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.

E.M.Smith
Editor
May 20, 2013 1:05 am

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

thingodonta
May 20, 2013 1:07 am

‘The canary in the coal mine’?

Leon0112
May 20, 2013 1:22 am

How does this correlate with [Arctic] ice levels?

May 20, 2013 1:23 am

I meant Arctic ice levels.

be cause
May 20, 2013 1:34 am

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 ..

Go Home
May 20, 2013 2:04 am

“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.

NZ Willy
May 20, 2013 2:07 am

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?

John from Holt
May 20, 2013 2:15 am


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.

faboutlaws
May 20, 2013 2:23 am

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.

Editor
May 20, 2013 2:36 am

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

faboutlaws
May 20, 2013 2:43 am

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.

Susann Macklem
May 20, 2013 3:06 am

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

NZ Willy
May 20, 2013 3:23 am

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.

Jack Simmons
May 20, 2013 3:26 am

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

tobyglyn
May 20, 2013 4:30 am

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 🙂

Jimbo
May 20, 2013 4:47 am

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/

Adamastor
May 20, 2013 4:50 am

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

@njsnowfan
May 20, 2013 5:04 am

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..

David
May 20, 2013 5:34 am

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..!

Ebeni
May 20, 2013 5:44 am

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

Dave
May 20, 2013 5:59 am

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?

Chris @NJSnowFan
May 20, 2013 6:01 am

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).

May 20, 2013 6:01 am

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.

Silver Ralph
May 20, 2013 6:21 am

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.

Frank K.
May 20, 2013 6:24 am

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??

TheHermit
May 20, 2013 6:25 am

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

Frank K.
May 20, 2013 6:29 am

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

Reply to  Frank K.
May 20, 2013 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.

@njsnowfan
May 20, 2013 6:31 am

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….???

styleyd
May 20, 2013 6:38 am

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

Steve Divine
May 20, 2013 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).

Reply to  Steve Divine
May 20, 2013 7:41 am

@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? 😉

Kevin Kilty
May 20, 2013 7:11 am

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?

Jimmy Haigh.
May 20, 2013 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.)

Steve Divine
May 20, 2013 7:17 am

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

Jimmy Haigh.
May 20, 2013 7:21 am

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…)

Jay
May 20, 2013 7:23 am

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

Far more fitting than it should be..

Jimmy Haigh.
May 20, 2013 7:33 am

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

Larry Ledwick (hotrod)
May 20, 2013 7:36 am

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.

Dave
May 20, 2013 7:36 am

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.

Mike
May 20, 2013 7:43 am

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.
&&
$$

Jay
May 20, 2013 7:47 am

Warmist response adjusted for political / financial consumption..

Hardly surprising at all..

Jimmy Haigh.
May 20, 2013 7:52 am

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

Hal Des
May 20, 2013 7:57 am

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).

May 20, 2013 8:09 am

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.”

faboutlaws
May 20, 2013 8:12 am

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.

Jimmy Haigh.
May 20, 2013 8:31 am

faboutlaws says:
May 20, 2013 at 8:12 am
Anthony? Sometimes… Just sometimes… That “Like” button is needed…
+1

DaveD
May 20, 2013 8:34 am

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

Frank K.
May 20, 2013 8:39 am

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/

JJ
May 20, 2013 8:39 am

Two hours to a new record!
(Measured as time from solstice, to avoid leap year issues)

May 20, 2013 8:40 am

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?

Editor
May 20, 2013 8:41 am

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.

Editor
May 20, 2013 8:46 am

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.)

John F. Hultquist
May 20, 2013 8:47 am

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.

Gary Pearse
May 20, 2013 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.

Jimmy Haigh.
May 20, 2013 9:05 am

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…)

JJ
May 20, 2013 9:09 am

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.

Ryan-p
May 20, 2013 9:12 am

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.

Ed Zuiderwijk
May 20, 2013 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?

Greg Goodman
May 20, 2013 9:19 am

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.

Daid Reese
May 20, 2013 9:21 am

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)!

john
May 20, 2013 9:21 am

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

DR
May 20, 2013 9:28 am

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.

Duster
May 20, 2013 9:42 am

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.

Keith
May 20, 2013 9:46 am

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

See - owe to Rich
May 20, 2013 10:10 am

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.

Editor
May 20, 2013 10:13 am

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

Editor
May 20, 2013 10:18 am

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

Jimmy Haigh.
May 20, 2013 10:19 am

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

May 20, 2013 10:19 am

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! 😉

faboutlaws
May 20, 2013 10:23 am

Thank goodness it’s not Sandra Fluke.

mom2girls
May 20, 2013 10:24 am

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

SCheesman
May 20, 2013 10:29 am

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

May 20, 2013 10:30 am

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

Larry Ledwick (hotrod)
May 20, 2013 10:31 am

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

mom2girls
May 20, 2013 10:31 am

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

Jimmy Haigh.
May 20, 2013 10:33 am

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…

mom2girls
May 20, 2013 10:34 am

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.

Larry Ledwick (hotrod)
May 20, 2013 10:36 am

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.

Larry Ledwick (hotrod)
May 20, 2013 10:38 am

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.

mom2girls
May 20, 2013 10:44 am

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

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
May 20, 2013 10:47 am

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.

JJ
May 20, 2013 10:49 am

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 …

Jimmy Haigh.
May 20, 2013 10:52 am

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

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
May 20, 2013 10:53 am

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.

mom2girls
May 20, 2013 10:55 am

*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

Jimmy Haigh.
May 20, 2013 11:03 am

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.

Larry Ledwick (hotrod)
May 20, 2013 11:05 am

http://www.wunderground.com/weather-forecast/US/AK/Nenana.html
shows 6 mph gusting to 9 right now, temp is up to 41.

Argiris Diamantis
May 20, 2013 11:28 am

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.

LexingtonGreen
May 20, 2013 11:34 am

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

Larry Ledwick (hotrod)
May 20, 2013 11:36 am

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

Wharfplank
May 20, 2013 11:47 am

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

George
May 20, 2013 11:47 am

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

Editor
May 20, 2013 11:55 am

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

Psalmon
May 20, 2013 11:59 am

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.

mom2girls
May 20, 2013 12:02 pm

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

May 20, 2013 12:05 pm

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.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
May 20, 2013 12:08 pm

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.

Editor
May 20, 2013 12:20 pm

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…

Bloke down the pub
May 20, 2013 12:35 pm

Is that James Hansen on the ice with a chainsaw?

TerryMN
May 20, 2013 12:36 pm

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

Bloke down the pub
May 20, 2013 12:40 pm

We have a record breaker.

Stevec
May 20, 2013 12:43 pm

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

Richard Keen
May 20, 2013 12:44 pm

Records, like ice, are made to be broken.

Chris R.
May 20, 2013 12:47 pm

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.

papertiger
May 20, 2013 12:53 pm

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

Gary Pearse
May 20, 2013 1:04 pm

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.

May 20, 2013 1:16 pm

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

Gary Pearse
May 20, 2013 1:16 pm

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

mom2girls
May 20, 2013 1:31 pm

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.

TerryMN
May 20, 2013 1:32 pm

Ten minutes!

jbird
May 20, 2013 1:32 pm

“Is that James Hansen on the ice with a chainsaw?”
Nah. That’s a hockey stick he’s holding.

AnonyMoose
May 20, 2013 1:36 pm

“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.

J Calvert N
May 20, 2013 1:39 pm

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

May 20, 2013 1:40 pm

Looks like it maybe moved a couple feet downstream?

Larry Ledwick (hotrod)
May 20, 2013 1:41 pm

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

sane_voter
May 20, 2013 1:43 pm

I think we have a new record . . .

May 20, 2013 1:44 pm

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

Karl B.
May 20, 2013 1:45 pm

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

Steve D
May 20, 2013 1:47 pm

And it’s done… the record belongs to 2013

papiertigre
May 20, 2013 1:47 pm

I don’t see any movement. Compared to the pics from a few days ago.
Otoh that crowd probably heard something on the wireless.

AnonyMoose
May 20, 2013 1:50 pm

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.

Auto
May 20, 2013 1:57 pm

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

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