River Ice Spotter Training Dec 4, 2012 in Ottawa, IL

Ice Jam at Dayton IL

Ice Spotter Training

Tuesday Dec 4, 2012 at 6:30 PM
LaSalle County Emergency Management Agency, 711 E. Etna Road, Ottawa, IL

Etna road is just south of I-80. Take the east entrance to the Etna Rd LaSalle County complex (about 1/2 mile east of Rt 23) and then follow the road about 600 feet south until you reach the EMA building. The EMA building is located on the far southeast portion of the complex.

Registration: No charge for training. Click here to register.

Ice spotter training is open to anyone interested in becoming an ice spotter or learning about river ice jam formation and flooding

Why River Ice Spotters?

The National Weather Service (NWS) is responsible for the issuance of river forecasts and flood warnings. We rely heavily on a network of river gages owned and operated primarily by the U.S. Geological Survey.  During the colder months, ice jams can result in flash flooding.  However, ice jams are typically localized and river gage readings do not always accurately indicate what is occurring when ice is involved.  For accurate ice assessment, one needs to know information such as the extent of the existing ice cover, if there are any open areas, has the ice begun to breakup…etc. This information can only be obtained by visual observations.

What qualifications are required?

No special qualifications are required other than living or working near a river and a willingness to report river and ice conditions. Access to the internet is required to enter your ice observations. We may also have a need to contact you directly as well.

What kind of information will I be reporting?

The information could include observations of river freeze-up, percent of ice cover, or if the ice cover is beginning to break. High priority would be given to reports of ice jam formation, breakup of an ice jam, or ice jam flooding. Observations are requested weekly December to March or whenever existing conditions change.


Safety is important! All visual observations of ice conditions will be done from a safe location only.  Under no circumstances should ice spotters venture out on the ice to take an observation.


For more information regarding the river ice spotter program, please contact:
William Morris, Service Hydrologist
National Weather Service Forecast Office Chicago/Romeoville, IL
phone: 815-834-0600 X493
email: william.morris@noaa.gov

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