LakeSuperior
Photo by NOAA

Great Lakes reaching record ice coverage

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As this bitter winter continues to smash records, our Great Lakes are feeling the cold too.

Recently taken aerial photos show that the five lakes have already frozen 80 percent due to the low temperatures. Nearly all of Lake Erie, Lake Huron, and Lake Superior are frozen.

The photos, taken by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, also show that only Lake Michigan and Lake Ontario are the only two with more water than ice.

Lake Superior, the coldest and largest of the lakes, reached 95.7 percent ice coverage in 2014, only a few points higher than last week’s coverage at 91.4 percent. Ice often lingers in the lake well into June, meaning Northern cottagers need to keep their Victoria Day celebrations landlocked.

Meanwhile Lake Erie is well on its way to freezing over completely, which would be the fourth time it has done so since record-keeping began in 1973.

George Leshkevich, a physical scientist with the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, says that this year’s vast ice coverage is partly due to last year’s severe winter and mild summer.

“We started this season with below-water temperatures to begin with,” Leshkevich said in an interview with the Associated Press.

Judging by the rest of the month’s weather forecast, it’s very likely ice coverage will continue to expand.

Goods for ice fishing lovers; bad news for everyone else.

LakeHuron
Lake Huron on Feb. 15. Photo courtesy of NOAA.

 

Lake Erie on Feb. 15. Photo courtesy of NOAA.
Lake Erie on Feb. 15. Photo courtesy of NOAA.

 

Lake Michigan on Feb. 15. Photo courtesy of NOAA.
Lake Michigan on Feb. 15. Photo courtesy of NOAA.

 

Lake Superior on Feb. 15. Photo courtesy of NOAA.
Lake Superior on Feb. 15. Photo courtesy of NOAA.