Ninety percent of Lake Erie is completely frozen

Lake Erie is nearly completely covered in ice, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). More than 90 percent of the iconic lake is frozen, spiking up from about 60 percent ice coverage at the beginning of February.

Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

It’s not unusual for Erie to be almost completely covered in ice, NOAA data shows, but this year’s ice is a huge jump from previous years. At this time in 2017, ice only covered 38 percent of the lake. The year before that only 1 percent was covered.

Lake Erie was close to freezing over in early January when a polar vortex brought freezing Arctic air down to the eastern U.S., sending energy prices through the roof in some parts of the country. But warmer air returned and reduced ice cover — until now.

Lake Erie is the most shallow of the Great Lakes, making it the most likely to freeze over in winter when the old Arctic comes. Lake Erie freezing also reduces lake effect snowfall.

That’s good news for Americans and Canadians living along the lake, some of whom got buried in more than 4 feet of snow in late December.

In total, just over half the Great Lake’s water surface is covered in ice, according to NOAA. Lake Superior is more than 50 percent covered in ice and Lake Michigan’s ice cover is about 40 percent.

Ice covers about 65 percent of Lake Huron, but less than 20 percent of Lake Ontario. Total Great Lakes ice coverage is in line with the long-term average of 55 percent, according to NOAA.

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Comments (4)

  • Avatar

    G

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    Warmest February ever! The earth has a fever! We’re burning up!
    …Except the continued facts appear to be much different. Truth and science can be such a troublesome thing.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

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    I want to see one of the Greenpeace ships on Lake Erie right now trapped in the ice and with the NRDC and EDF with them

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Sonnyhill

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    It wouldn’t make any difference if Polar bears were ice fishing on Lake Erie, Canada has gone full-on Green. Environmentalists and Socialists rule here. Politicians are making decisions that hurt our economy but they don’t care. Come election time, environmentalists campaign for them.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    JayPee

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    The winter of ’77 – ’78 was the first in 40 years that Lake Erie did not freeze. And it did not freeze through the solar ” epicycle ” years from late 1977 through early 1991.
    And it has been freezing ever since.

    Reply

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