Lake Superior ice cover rising quicklyFeb 17, 2021 06:14AM ● By Editor
From WDIO-TV - February 16, 2021
Ice coverage on Lake Superior has quickly increased amid the long stretch of subzero nighttime temperatures.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimated the lake to be 34% ice-covered as of Tuesday, up from just 7% coverage on Feb. 8. The NOAA Great Lakes Coastal Forecasting System is predicting 43% ice coverage by the end of the week.
Ice has formed along the shore around much of the lake and is thickest in the Thunder Bay area. However, the rescue of 26 fishermen on Feb. 9 in Duluth provided a reminder that ice conditions can change rapidly.
The lake had experienced historically low percentages of ice cover in January. With high water levels continuing, the International Lake Superior Board of Control had warned of a continued risk of erosion at the beginning of February.
Despite the freeze-up, the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore said the ice trail to the popular ice caves was still unsafe and closed as of Tuesday. On Chequamegon Bay, the Madeline Island Ferry stopped running on Feb. 5 but the ice road to the island has not yet been able to open for the season, leaving a windsled as the only form of access for now.