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Environment & Climate Change

Watching the record books as cold temps bring more ice to the Great Lakes

How the Great Lakes look from space as of yesterday (Feb. 23, 2015).
NASA
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How the Great Lakes look from space as of yesterday (Feb. 23, 2015).

With below freezing and single digit temperatures expected to continue through the week, ice cover on the Great Lakes is expected to continue to increase.

We hit a peak for the season yesterday with almost 86% ice cover for the Great Lakes -- that's well above where we were at this time last year (62%).

If the cold temperatures continue, and the winds over the lakes don't get too strong (high winds can break up the ice), we could approach the ice cover record for the Great Lakes in total set in February of 1979 -- close to 95%.

We came close to that total record last year, and ice cover on Lake Michigan last year did set a record.

George Leshkevich of NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab compiled images from NASA's MODIS satellite to make this animation of last year's ice cover on Lake Superior.

http://youtu.be/OAcrIe5HwRI

Here are more numbers on Great Lakes ice. We'll have to see what March brings.

great Lakes ice cover | Create infographics

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