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Lake Michigan 90 Percent Covered In Ice, Equals Highest Level Ever

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(Credit: NOAA)

(Credit: NOAA)

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By John Dodge

CHICAGO (CBS) — After having a meltdown early last week, Lake Michigan is now just over 90 percent covered in ice, which equals the highest levels ever recorded.

The lake was also just over 90 percent frozen in 1976, 1979 and 1994, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.

(Credit: NOAA)

(Credit: NOAA)

The unyielding cold weather has caused the ice on Lake Michigan to continue to expand the last several days.

The below high-resolution visible satellite image from March 2 shows widespread ice cover over central Lake Michigan.

A small area of open water remained on the eastern side of the lake, well away from the Michigan shore.

(Credit: NOAA)

(Credit: NOAA)

After reaching 80 percent coverage in mid-February, the lake melted during the brief warm up two weeks ago and was down to 40 percent as seen in this Feb. 26 image:

Satellite image of ice coverage on Lake Michigan on Feb. 26, 2014. (Credit: NOAA)

Satellite image of ice coverage on Lake Michigan on Feb. 26, 2014. (Credit: NOAA)

Last week, forecasters predicted the past several days of cold weather would increase coverage by around 15 percent.

Instead, it was more like 50 percent.

The record ice coverage for all five lakes was set in 1979 at nearly 95 percent.

In mid-February, the Great Lakes were nearly 90 percent covered in ice.

Last year, Lake Michigan was only 20 percent covered.

The average ice coverage is around 40 percent.

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