Best to stay off the ice, even if it looks solid

Thin ice illustration Photo credit Getty Images

Spring-like temperatures may not be enough to melt the thick layer of ice that has developed on some lakes and ponds in the Chicago area.

Jay Johnson, manager of site operations for the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, said the punishing winter weather in February caused 8 to 10 inches of ice to form on some lakes and ponds.

He said people should use caution around ice, regardless of the weather.

"We consider no ice to be safe. We encourage everyone to be cautious as they go out -- certainly, with the latest weather, even more cautious," Johnson said Monday.

He added that it could take some time for the ice to fully melt thanks to the freeze-thaw cycle.  Even so, he said that ice can be deceptive.

"I ask everyone to proceed with caution with the sunshines and warmer temperatures.  We might have streams that lead into lakes.  We might have underwater spring that cause some melting underneath," Johnson said.

Several forest preserve districts across Chicago recommend staying off of the ice if it's less than 3 inches thick.