Ice coverage way down for Great Lakes

lake michigan 4.jpg
Posted at 5:26 AM, Jan 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-13 13:38:32-05

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.

Great Lakes ice coverage as of 1.13.23.png

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.

Lake Michigan Avg Ice Concentration 1973-2023

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:

Land, Ocean Temperature Departure from Average Jan-Dec 2022.png

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