Lake Michigan: A Winter’s View From Space

CHICAGO (CBS) — While the start of 2017 has been cold, it hasn’t been chilly enough to freeze over much of Lake Michigan.

Walking along the shoreline over the weekend, as the air stung exposed skin quickly, one might have been surprised at the lack of ice on the water.

However, right now, about 13 percent of the lake is covered in ice. Looking at all of the Great Lakes, about 11 percent is iced over.

That is far from the record of more than 90 percent at one point during the frigid winter of 2014, according to data from the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory.

On the other end, only about 2 percent of Lake Michigan was icy last January, during the balmy winter of 2016.

Since mid December, snow has been scarce around most of the Chicago area.

Here is a satellite image of Lake Michigan, taken on New Year’s day, showing much of the snow to the north in Wisconsin and east in Michigan.

(Credit: NOAA)

(Credit: NOAA)

On Jan. 4, this image shows lake effect snow falling in Michigan, while Chicago remained dry, but cold.

(Credit: NOAA)

(Credit: NOAA)

Then on Monday, the clouds really took over.

(Credit: NOAA)

(Credit: NOAA)

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