The River Ice Network is a cooperative effort between Federal, State, and local government agencies to collect river ice observations and store them in a centralized database. Volunteer observers periodically send reports describing river ice conditions in the North Central U.S. to a North Central River Forecast Center (NCRFC) database which can be queried from the NCRFC website.
The North Central River Forecast Center is the lead agency in this endeavor and has been working closely with the St. Paul District of the USACE, CRREL, the Minnesota Division of Emergency Management, the USGS, and the Minnesota State DNR to develop the network in Minnesota. During each ice season we hope to expand the Network to the rest of the North Central U.S.
If you know of a location where ice jams form and cause flooding or structural damage in or near the river please notify us via e-mail.
During the late fall, winter and early spring, the NCRFC issues weekly River Ice Statements pertaining to the
channel conditions and ice coverage for Locks and Dams along the mainstem of the Mississippi River
and the Illinois River. Most of the information comes from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
offices located in Chicago, IL, Rock Island, IL, St Louis, MO and St. Paul, MN.
These reports are usually issued every Tuesday, and the most recent
message contains the future issuance date for the next River Ice Statement. The product files contain
weekly summaries of river ice coverage and channel conditions within the NCRFC region as well as a brief
discussion on future river ice conditions based on short-term climate predictions.