Ice Cover at Record Low on Great Lakes

January 13, 2023

Caught this chirpily ominous weather talk on WMXI, Grand Rapids, MI, in the breakfast lobby of a Comfort Inn in West Michigan.
West Michigan outside of cities is like our own little slice of Alabama, so as in any closed society with controlled media, you have to read between the lines. Yes, folks in a major lake-effect snow belt are looking at the bare fields in mid-january and wondering what the hell is happening.

WMXI:

This winter has been nothing short of interesting— from a pre-Christmas blizzard to now green grass and above average temperatures in January— Michigan has run the gambit. But where does this leave our lake in terms of ice?

Typically we should have about 10-20% of ice covering on Lake Michigan at this point in the year as we typically peak our ice coverage during February.

Right now, Lake Michigan is sitting at 3.39% ice coverage and Lake Superior at 2.61%— which feels even smaller given its overall size. Lake Huron is at 3.82% and Lake Erie has 3.35% coverage while Lake Ontario is barely registers at 0.73% ice coverage.

All this leading to a total ice coverage across the Great Lakes at 3.01%.

Now let’s see how our current ice coverage on Lake Michigan stacks up against years past.

This bell chart shows the ice coverage every year dating back to 1973.

In red is the highest ice coverage on record in 1977 and the green showing the lowest ice coverage on record in 1983.

The black line you see is this year where we are currently extremely close to that lowest year of ice coverage.

Here you can see the temperature departure from the average January-December:

2022 was the world’s 6th warmest year on record so far.


Have a Great Day our there!

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2 Responses to “Ice Cover at Record Low on Great Lakes”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    “Yes, folks in a major lake-effect snow belt are looking at the bare fields in mid-january and wondering what the hell is happening.”

    It’s inexplicable! At the first flake sighting, though, we’ll have further proof that climate change is a hoax.

  2. Mark Mev Says:

    Growing up in Buffalo in the 60s and 70s, we had our annual family visit to the Niagara River to witness the ice breakup from Lake Erie. Every year. Hard to imagine that is something that is getting rare.


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