Ice coverage increases on Lake Michigan, still running below average

Beyond The Forecast

(WFRV) – Northeast Wisconsin has had a frigid second week of the New Year. Temperatures through the first 10 days in Green Bay are running nearly 5 degrees below normal. How has this translated for ice coverage on Green Bay and Lake Michigan?

Our ice coverage has increased across the bay of Green Bay over the last few days with the colder air. However, not much elsewhere on Lake Michigan (the bay is included in this total). Overall, ice coverage stands at 7.1% across all of Lake Michigan. In comparison, last year Lake Michigan was under 1% (0.7%) covered. 

Ice coverage reported Jan 10, 2022

Despite the uptick in ice coverage to start January, ice coverage is still running behind the 1973-2021 average. This is most likely due to the warm water temperatures the Great Lakes had at the end of fall.

It is not just Lake Michigan running below normal on ice coverage. Every single Great Lake has had a slow start to the season. Notably, Lake Erie is behind over 30% from its typical ice coverage.

Peak ice coverage tends to be reached in February for Lake Michigan. Unless more arctic air blasts continue to come, Lake Michigan could be in for another below-average year of ice coverage.

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