Winter Leaves 80 Percent Of Great Lakes Covered In Ice

By John Dodge

CHICAGO (CBS) — The long deep freeze across the Upper Midwest this winter has left a whopping 80 percent of the Great Lakes covered in ice.

Data from the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, shows that more than half of Lake Michigan (54 percent) is on ice.

Neither number is a record, but those percentages are much higher than normal for the winter.

Among the other Great Lakes, Lake Erie is nearly a full skating rink (94 percent), followed by Superior (93 percent); Huron (89 percent) and Ontario (38 percent).

(Credit: NOAA)

(Credit: NOAA)

The record for Great Lakes ice coverage is 94 percent in that brutal winter of 1979.

(Credit: NOAA)

(Credit: NOAA)

The average over the past 40 years is 54 percent.

Typically, about 40 percent of Lake Michigan is ice-covered during the winter.

There have been three seasons in which Lake Michigan was about 90 percent covered.

(Credit: NOAA)

(Credit: NOAA)

Click on the graphics for a larger view.

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