For the first time in two decades, the Great Lakes are nearly covered with ice.
As of Feb. 14, ice cover reached 88.4 percent across the Great Lakes, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Some lakes, like Lake Erie and Lake Superior are nearly 100 percent iced over, according to Newsy.
“That arctic vortex came down, and the ice just kept going,” George Leshkevich, a physical scientist with the NOAA, told the Associated Press.
Though cities along the Great Lakes, like Chicago and Detroit, have been pummeled by snow and cold this winter, the AP reports the extensive ice cover is not without its benefits: the ice cover protects fish eggs from predators and limits evaporation, thus helping to replenish lake water levels that been on the decline.
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