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Arctic air making Great Lakes ice expand to double of average

Jan 05, 2018 04:06AM ● Published by Editor

By Mark Torregrossa | MLive - January 5, 2018

The abnormally cold air isn't only freezing us. It's causing ice cover on the Great Lakes to expand rapidly. All of the Great Lakes have more than double the amount of ice cover today than the long term average, with the exception of Lake Superior.

Let's walk through some images of the growing ice, and how quickly the ice is forming.

Great Lakes almost one-quarter covered in ice

This above map shows the current surface water temperatures and ice cover. Ice cover is shown in gray. Currently the entire Great Lakes system is pegged at 22.7 percent covered in ice.

3Great-Lakes-ice-graphic-map-grayscale-jan4-2018gif
Grayscale map shows ice better

This grayscale map shows the ice cover more clearly, with a breakdown of ice amount for each Great Lake.

4LAke-Superior-ice-jan2-2018jpg 
Lake Superior from space

You can see ice forming on the southwest part of Lake Superior on January 2, 2018.

5Lake-Superior-graph-jan4-2018gif 
Only Lake Superior near normal ice amount

The above graph shows Lake Superior's current ice cover percent in red compared to the long term average in Blue. Currently Lake Superior has 8.64 percent ice cover. The long term average for today on Lake Superior is 9.2 percent.

Ice growing on southern Lake Michigan

This satellite image from January 2, 2018 shows ice cover growing on the southwest part of Lake Michigan, from the Michigan border around to Chicago and Milwaukee.

Close-up of ice on southern Lake Michigan

This closer image from January 2, 2018 shows the ice expanding on southern Lake Michigan.

Rapid increase in Lake Michigan ice

The current ice cover graph is on a trajectory straight up on the red line. Lake Michigan has 21.3 percent ice cover now compared to a long term average of 10.2 percent.

Saginaw Bay covered with ice

The Satellite image from January 2, 2018 shows Saginaw Bay covered in ice. We can also see a large area of ice forming on southern Lake Huron.

Lake Huron ice growth

Lake Huron has the most impressive increase in ice cover. Lake Huron is 33.5 percent covered with ice, compared to a normal amount of 15.8 percent.

Great Lakes almost one-quarter covered in ice

This above map shows the current surface water temperatures and ice cover. Ice cover is shown in gray. Currently the entire Great Lakes system is pegged at 22.7 percent covered in ice.

3Great-Lakes-ice-graphic-map-grayscale-jan4-2018gif
Grayscale map shows ice better

This grayscale map shows the ice cover more clearly, with a breakdown of ice amount for each Great Lake.

4LAke-Superior-ice-jan2-2018jpg 
Lake Superior from space

You can see ice forming on the southwest part of Lake Superior on January 2, 2018.

5Lake-Superior-graph-jan4-2018gif 
Only Lake Superior near normal ice amount

The above graph shows Lake Superior's current ice cover percent in red compared to the long term average in Blue. Currently Lake Superior has 8.64 percent ice cover. The long term average for today on Lake Superior is 9.2 percent.

Ice growing on southern Lake Michigan

This satellite image from January 2, 2018 shows ice cover growing on the southwest part of Lake Michigan, from the Michigan border around to Chicago and Milwaukee.

Close-up of ice on southern Lake Michigan

This closer image from January 2, 2018 shows the ice expanding on southern Lake Michigan.

Rapid increase in Lake Michigan ice

The current ice cover graph is on a trajectory straight up on the red line. Lake Michigan has 21.3 percent ice cover now compared to a long term average of 10.2 percent.

Saginaw Bay covered with ice

The Satellite image from January 2, 2018 shows Saginaw Bay covered in ice. We can also see a large area of ice forming on southern Lake Huron.

Lake Huron ice growth

Lake Huron has the most impressive increase in ice cover. Lake Huron is 33.5 percent covered with ice, compared to a normal amount of 15.8 percent.

West end of Lake Erie icing up

Lake Erie from satellite on January 2, 2018.

Lake Erie almost half covered with ice

Lake Erie is 46.8 percent covered with ice as of January 4, 2018. The long term average ice cover for Lake Erie on this date is 22.2 percent.

Lake Ontario from space

While it's hard to see in this image, Lake Ontario has the most ice cover now of any Great Lake when compared to its long term average.

Lake Ontario ice graph heading straight up

Lake Ontario is usually slow to develop ice. The normal amount of ice at this time of year is almost five percent. Right now Lake Ontario has almost five times the normal ice at 23.9 percent ice cover.


Lake Erie from satellite on January 2, 2018.

Lake Erie almost half covered with ice

Lake Erie is 46.8 percent covered with ice as of January 4, 2018. The long term average ice cover for Lake Erie on this date is 22.2 percent.

Lake Ontario from space

While it's hard to see in this image, Lake Ontario has the most ice cover now of any Great Lake when compared to its long term average.

Lake Ontario ice graph heading straight up

Lake Ontario is usually slow to develop ice. The normal amount of ice at this time of year is almost five percent. Right now Lake Ontario has almost five times the normal ice at 23.9 percent ice cover.



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Lake Superior Ice Coverage Map. Click on map to enlarge. [GLERL Ice Concentration for Lake Superior]

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