It looks like it’s time to put the boats away.
The first ice of the season appeared in the Chena River on Friday morning when the temperature at Fairbanks International Airport dipped to a low of 14 degrees, the coldest temperature so far this season. While sloughs, ponds and other small standing bodies of water began freezing up earlier this week, rivers had been immune to freeze-up until Friday.
Standing on the bank of the Chena River in downtown Fairbanks, the tinkling and hissing sound of newly formed ice pans rubbing against one another could be heard as they floated downstream. It was if someone was shaking a chandelier.
The ice didn’t seem to bother a group of about 20 ducks swimming around in the river near the downtown foot bridge. The ducks swam around in the maze of ice pans floating down the river as if it were an obstacle course, weaving their way in and out of the ice and occasionally climbing on top of it.
With the National Weather Service forecasting low temperatures in the teens over the weekend and highs not expected to climb much above freezing, expect to see more ice forming in local rivers.