One of the coldest winters ever recorded has left Lake Erie almost totally frozen, with experts reporting that Erie now has 96 percent of its surface covered with ice. Erie has sustained the most damage from consistently sub-zero temperatures as well as massive amounts of lake-effect snow and is the most frozen of the five Great Lakes.
Lake Huron is now 71 percent ice covered, followed by Lake Superior at 69 percent, Lake Michigan almost half frozen at 46 percent ice cover, and Lake Ontario reporting icing over 26 percent of its water.
Scientists at the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory say that although the Great Lakes sustaining some freezing over the winter months is not unusual, what is unusual for 2014 is the fact that ice coverage began so early in the winter season. With ice now covering almost 65 percent of the total Great Lakes region, this year’s early icing is the 17th worst since 1974.
The year 1994 holds the record for the worst ice coverage of Lake Erie and the other Great Lakes, recording an almost 95 percent total coverage in ice that year. Meteorologists say ice conditions on the Great Lakes adversely affects local weather.
On The Web:
Ice cover on Great Lakes surges to 62 percent: What that means for Michigan’s weather
Frozen Lake Erie