Many are happy to see spring-like weather finally arrive but the Coast Guard is cautioning residents that the warmer temperatures will significantly increase the chance of weakened ice throughout the area.
The Coast Guard says warmer weather will present the possibility of extremely hazardous ice conditions throughout Lake Michigan, including Green Bay, Sturgeon Bay and other surrounding bodies of water and harbors.
The decreased stability of ice presents a danger to ice fishermen, snowmobilers and others who transit the ice.
"With the arrival of spring, ice will begin to melt and the risk for people to fall through or become stranded on an ice floe greatly increases," says Cmdr Erik Leuenberger, Sector Lake Michigan search and rescue mission controller. "We ask that everyone stay off the ice, but if you do venture out then please take extra safety precautions."
If going out on the ice, the Coast Guard says think I.C.E. as a precaution:
Intelligence. Know the weather and ice conditions, know where you are going, and know how to call for help. Never go out alone.
Clothing. Wear the proper clothing to prevent hypothermia. Wear a waterproof exposure suit and a life jacket.
Equipment. Carry the proper equipment. Carry two ice picks or screwdrivers in case you fall in. Use these items to dig into the ice and pull yourself out. They are more effective than bare hands. Carry a whistle or noise maker to alert people that you are in distress. Carry a cellular phone or marine band radio in a waterproof container, so that you can call for help if you come across trouble.