Spring might be around the corner, but the Great Lakes’ historic freeze has led to some of the most spectacular scenes from this winter.
Last Thursday, the Great Lakes were more frozen than they had been in 35 years, with 92.2 percent of the lakes’ surface covered in ice, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) in Ann Arbor, Mich. That’s the second-highest since ice cover started being recorded in 1973; only 1979 had an icier winter, reaching 94.76 percent ice cover at one point that February. On Saturday, Lake Michigan had the most ice the individual body of water had ever recorded, at 93.29 percent.
There are upsides to the record ice cover. It has positive effects for some wildlife and should cause water levels to recover after being worryingly low in recent years.
However, the total Great Lakes ice cover has receded to 83 percent with recent warmer temperatures, and it seems unlikely that the lakes will come that close to the record again this season. Some might be pleased to see another sign that spring is on its way, but before the ice melts completely, let’s take a look at just how incredible the Great Lakes are when they’re iced over.
Click here to see a few of the amazing things you’ll only see when the lakes are frozen.