Nenana Ice Classic

April 22, 2002


Provided by: NASA/GSFC Landsat Program
Summary authors & editors: Jim Foster

This photo was taken last year just before the Nenana River (Alaska) ice broke up in early May. Normally people wouldn't line up to see ice break apart, unless things are really boring. However, there's a special interest in the timing of the Nenana break up, because the person who guesses closes to the correct time and date the ice begins to move can win a good deal of money. In order to be declared the winner, the ice has to move a log structure 100 feet (32 m) downriver. Since this event has been ongoing for 84 years, break up dates also serve as an indicator of climate variability. The earliest break up ever recorded was on April 20 1998, while the latest break up occurred on May 20, 1964. You may want to by a ticket and wager a guess. Last year, a $2 ticket yielded a $308,000 jackpot divided among 8 winners.

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