The latest analysis of Lake Superior ice coverage is out and itâ??s almost completely frozen over! Thatâ??s according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrationâ??s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory.
According to the analysis which was released early Friday morning, average ice coverage remains at 92.4 percent. You can see the lowest concentration of ice is located near the far western Lake Superior along the Minnesota coastline. There is also some limited open water near Isle Royale and Huron and Keweenaw Bays.As it looks now, below normal temperatures are expected to continue to facilitate ice build-up on Lake Superior. Forecast models are hinting at a couple warm spells towards the middle of February. However, any warm-up would be short-lived and would do little to mitigate ice pack on Lake Superior.
Although we have seen impressive ice build-up over the Big Lake, venturing out onto frozen Lake Superior would be ill advised. According to GLERL, there are several weak or thin places in the ice which could be torn apart by strong winds.We've already seen a dramatic reduction in lake effect snow as a result of our current ice pack. A total freeze would essentially prevent any significant lake effect snowfall. However, we trade the dry forecast for colder temperatures as we lose the moderating effect of the comparatively warm water off the lake. It is, of course, extremely rare for Lake Superior to experience a total freeze. Historical accounts of Great Lakes ice often conflict. The last time we saw a nearly complete freeze was during the winter of 2008-2009.
For information on ice build-up on Lake Michigan and the other Great Lakes, follow the link below!