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

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

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

Scientists impaled on imprudent, overconfident generalizations.

Ian H

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

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

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

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

Jantar

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.

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)

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

Harold Ambler

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.

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

Louis

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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

Ian H

Almost as exciting as Norwegian Television.

richcar 1225

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

‘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

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.

Willis Eschenbach

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

Ian Evans

‘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

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

Nice! Thanks Willis.

Willis Eschenbach

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.

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

Luther Wu

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.