Ice conditions can vary significantly due to the fluctuating temperatures. Moving water on rivers takes even longer to freeze.
HRM Partners in Policing want to remind people to check ice carefully before venturing out. The most accurate way to do this is to use an ice auger and measure the thickness of the ice. A good rule is to check twice before going on the ice.
The Red Cross recommends an ice thickness of 15 cm (6 inches) for individual skating, and 20 cm (8 inches) for group skating, and 25 cm (10 inches) for snowmobiling.
Dark blue or transparent ice is always the strongest, and white, cloudy looking ice is generally weaker. Grey ice is unsafe, as the grey colour indicates the presence of water. HRM provides a ice thickness index for their area on their website at http://www.halifax.ca/real_property/ice/index.asp. The guide lists the body of water, where it was checked, whether it’s safe, and the date it was checked.