Great Lakes Ice Reaches Largest Coverage In A Decade

Posted at 9:35 AM, Jan 24, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-24 09:35:15-05

012414icecoverWEST MICHIGAN — Cold arctic air and a snowy winter has caused the Great Lakes ice coverage to increase significantly this year. Lake Michigan still has a large area of open water however, Lake Erie is now almost completely iced over and Lake Superior is increasing ice coverage quickly.

At this point, we are half way through the winter and Lake Michigan is at almost 50 percent coverage. If you compare that to this time last year, there is five times more ice this year than last. The last two winters had been some of the lowest levels of ice coverage in decades. With multiple rounds of arctic temperatures in the Great Lakes this years ice coverage is nearing the highest in almost twenty years. The winter of 1993-94 was a banner year in Michigan winter weather history and that was the last time we have seen ice coverage to the extent of what we are experiencing this year.

But 1993-94 had much more ice coverage than this winter however with another arctic air mass moving into the Great Lakes next week we will likely see the ice coverage grow significantly especially because the long-term forecast suggests multiple rounds of cold arctic air in the next 7 to 10 days.