Most of us have been shut indoors, staying away from the icy temperatures and the bite of the wind. But with our waterways freezing over, it may be an excuse to get out.
However, if you think it might be fun to run out on the ice, you may want to think twice.
"Ice can be tricky. That's why we say it's dangerous, it's unpredictable. It may look strong, but when you get out there maybe it's not," says Coast Guard Seaman Anna Kasprzyk.
She says if you are venturing out, you need to make sure you take the necessary precautions.
"Always bring a cel phone or radio with you. Clothing, make sure you're wearing layers. You're going to be wearing warm clothing. And always wear a life jacket," explains Kasprzyk.
The Coast Guard practices rescue proceedures in the event that someone does fall through the ice. But they are doing so with the equipment designed for the freezing temps. Without that, a person wouldn't have long before they succumb to the cold water.
"If you are wearing a coat, pair of jeans, it's not going to take that long. Ten, fifteen minutes," she says.
For reference, your fridge measures about 45 degrees, and the water would be nowhere near that.
Kasprzyk says, "Months like this, it'll be low 30's, high 20's."
But hypothermia is not limited water temperatures. With no cover out on the ice, the cold is that much more bitter. Be sure to pay attention for any symptoms.
"Your lips will turn blue. Your fingertips are going to be blue. It'll be hard to talk. You'll notice your energy is depleted. Your body is trying to keep yourself warm," says Kasprzyk.
Also, always have a buddy with you to recognize any problems just in case something happens. And be sure to inform others of your plans when going out on the ice.