With a persistent trough in the Great Lakes region bringing in constant shots of Arctic air, it should therefore be no surprise to anyone that the large bodies of water are freezing up. But, it has been a while since we have seen this much ice. Just like every other body of water, there is a delay from the coldest air of the season to the most ice coating the landscape, that's because of course water takes far more energy to change temperatures than the air does. That's why it takes SO long for water to boil, than for the air around the stove to get nice and toasty.
As of Thursday, the Lakes are now 79% covered in ice which is one of the largest ice extents seen to this point in the season. In fact, Lake Superior just broke a 20 year old record for most ice in a season and is now 92% covered with a real shot at completely icing over before water temperatures start to climb in March. That's impressive!! It's been 5 years since we have seen this much ice on the lakes and is likely one of the largest ice extents in the last 50 years. Here is where the ice is currently.
This shows the general water temperature and areas that have ice cover on them. The areas with color shows water temperatures above that magic 32° line where ice can form. Areas without color have water temperatures cold enough to support ice that is continuing to grow and thicken. For a closer look at the ice on Lake Superior, check out the picture below.