ANCHORAGE (KTUU) – Based on official confirmation, the ice has gone out the Tanana River, tripping the tripod and stopping the clock for the 2019 Nenana Ice Classic.
Timelapse video indicates that the tripod fell late Saturday night. Nenana Ice Classic watcher Rebecca Troxel’s photo of the clock at the river shows 12:21 a.m.
This morning, Ice Classic manager Cherrie Forness has confirmed that the winning time is April 14th at 12:21 a.m (AST). If you had been waiting at the river when the clock stopped, your watch or cellphone would have shown 1:21 a.m. due to Daylight Savings Time; however, the contest only goes by Alaska Standard Time- which is one hour earlier than Daylight Savings Time, which we are in when the Tanana River ice breaks up.”
This is a record early ending to the Ice Classic. The earliest release prior to this year was April 20, which occurred in both 1998 and 1940. The ice went out on May 1st in 2018 and 2017.
The ice on the Kuskokwim River at Bethel went out Friday, April 12. According to the International Arctic Research Center with the the University of Alaska, “This is, by far, the earliest breakup in the 90+ years of breakup data.”
It also follows the warmest February and warmest March on record, researchers said.