BISMARCK — With the coldest air of the season finally starting to evacuate the area Tuesday, eyes will be turning from the thermometer and back to the waters.
It certainly has been cold this past week or so with many locations seeing some of the coldest temperatures of the season this past weekend and all that polar air has caused pretty much everything liquid to become a solid.
But many are wondering if the above-average temperatures we can expect later this week might lead to more ice jam flooding and the rapid river rises that we saw a few weeks ago when temperatures were see-sawing below and above the freezing mark every couple of days.
The good news is that it appears unlikely this time because of how cold it got and the length that the cold air stuck around for.
“As far as I can tell, the Missouri River is frozen well north of Bismarck at this point, so we don’t have to worry about ice floating down and creating high water in our local areas anymore,” said Allen Schlag with the National Weather Service in Bismarck.
He also told us the sporadic nature of the freezing and thawing that we saw last month and earlier this month did result in some ice bridging, where the ice is supported underneath by air rather than water making it much weaker.
So for those who enjoy getting out on the ice for recreational purposes — you are being urged to be extra careful even if the ice looks strong enough.