Predicted Great Lakes ice coverage increases after stretch of cold weather

Michigan Great Lakes Ice coverage Jan 21 2021.jpg
Posted at 11:16 AM, Jan 20, 2022

(WXYZ) — Ice cover on the Great Lakes is increasing after a stretch of cold weather across Michigan over the last few weeks, and the latest predicted ice cover forecast has increased.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) released its updated ice cover forecast on Jan. 13.

According to that forecast, the predicted maximum Great Lakes ice cover is 48.7%. That's up from the forecast in December, but still below the long-term average annual maximum ice cover of 54.5%.

The breakdown for each lake's prediction is below.

  • Lake Superior – 52.3% (long-term average is 62.3%)
  • Lake Michigan – 37.9% (long-term average is 41.4%)
  • Lake Huron – 51.1% (long-term average is 65%)
  • Lake Erie – 70.7% (long-term average is 81.9%)
  • Lake Ontario – 12.9% (long-term average is 31.4%)

The projection comes using a statistical regression model based on global air circulation pattern indices.

That projection can change as there are many weeks of winter left, and the majority of freezing happens in February.

As of Jan. 19, the NOAA reported the Great Lakes total ice coverage was at 11.4%.