Great Lakes Ice Cover Makes Gigantic Leap

Great Lakes ice cover made a gigantic leap forward this weekend, from 29.9% on Saturday to 43.2% Sunday.  This is a new highest for the winter, eclipsing the 35.5% ice cover we had on the Great Lakes on Jan. 16th.  Lake Michigan is up to 22.5%.

Here’s historic ice cover on the Great Lakes.  The 43.2% today is well above the highest extent of ice cover for the last two winters, but still much lower than the peak ice extent in the two winters before that.  So far, we’ve had the 3rd highest ice extent of the last 9 years.

  Quite a contrast across Lake Michigan this AM.  This was Chicago at sunrise with mostly clear skies and lots of ice.  Chicago dipped to -2 this AM.  A little to the north Waukegon IL had a low temp. of -7 and Kenosha, Wisconsin dropped to -11.  With a west wind, the air came out over the relatively warmer and mostly open water of Lake Michigan.

Here’s a midday Lake Michigan satellite picture of Lake Michigan…you can see some thin high clouds coming over the lake and you can see where there is ice on the lake.  2 pm update – it’s only 17 in G.R. and 11 in Chicago…can’t warm up even with a SW wind.

On the east (windward) side of Lake Michigan, it was cloudy at daybreak at S. Haven, Michigan with a low temp. of +15.8…that’s 27 degrees warmer than at Kenosha, Wisconsin!  Farther east, where skies were clear, the temps. fell to -7 at Alma, Michigan in central Lower Michigan.  Other Wisconsin temps. this AM:  -14 at Oshkosh and -21 at Sparta WI. (at one end of the Elroy-Sparta bicycle trail).

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