- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 20, 2016

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - The final measurements have been made for the Nenana Ice Classic, with the thickness of the ice on the Tanana River recorded at 32.3 inches.

The measurement Thursday was down from 40 inches recorded at the beginning of March. Director Cherrie Forness says the latest measurement will be the last, because it is now too dangerous for crews to go out on the ice, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported (https://bit.ly/1Qm5Lyu).

Alaska’s Ice Classic competition is in its 100th year. The game gives people a shot at predicting when winter ice will break up on the river in Nenana for a cash prize.

Forness says the size of this year’s prize pool could be announced as soon as this week. Last year, 28 winners split the $330,000 jackpot.

Temperatures in Nenana are predicted be in the 50s without falling below freezing at night. This could speed up the usual timeframe for the ice breaking up.

Forness said the Tanana usually breaks up about a week after the nearby Nenana River, which had yet to crumble by Monday afternoon.

“If it gets as warm as they say it’s going to get and it stays warm in the evenings, we’ll see things happen a lot quicker here,” she said.

April 20 is the earliest the ice has melted apart, with May 20 marking the latest.

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Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, https://www.newsminer.com

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