Lake Lover Blog

Information and Insights on Lake Michigan 

Happy New Year!

"Cold Morning"

This month’s image, "Cold Morning," shows the massive ice mounds that formed along the shore last year. But the ice extended far out into the lake as well. In fact, nearly 90% of Lake Michigan was blanketed by ice last winter.
 
The heavy coverage slowed evaporation from the lake’s surface, helping increase water levels. But it also made for a colder spring. As the water was slower to warm, air temperatures along the lakefront stayed lower well into May and even June.
 
With El Niño impacting weather across the nation, 2016 may be different. During the 1998 El Niño, for example, the lake's ice coverage was only 9.8%. For comparison, the record low was 9.5% coverage in 2002. The record high was 94.7% in 1979.