Author: Mary Knapp

A listener asked, “How thick does ice need to be to support a person? A car?” The answer is that it depends greatly. There are tables that indicate 2-4” of ice would support a single individual, while 8 to 12 inches of ice would support a car. However, all of those guides mention that this is for “clear, solid ice”, and based on areas with consistent, long-term cold weather, such as Canada, Alaska, the Northern US and Russia. In areas with frequent mild spells such as Kansas, they warn “If your country or region does not normally experience deep winter conditions, consider your ice to be unsafe at all times and do not attempt to perform any of these activities on it without professional advice, preferably from a local government body authorized to provide such advice.”

Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library