Great Lakes Ice Growing

January 21st, 2014 at 6:35 pm by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

modis lake michigan   Modis Lake Superior  modis lake erie Here’s the afternoon MODIS satellite pictures of Lake Michigan (on the left), Lake Superior (center) and Lake Erie (on the right).  Click on the pictures to enlarge.   The cold air is causing ice to form at a steady rate on the Great Lakes.  Green Bay is ice covered and you can see ice along the shore east of Illinois.  Lake Superior has a lot of ice now west of the Keweenaw Peninsula and you can see that Lake Erie is now mostly ice covered.  Lake Erie is the shallowest of the Great Lakes and often the lake with the highest percentage of ice cover in winter.  The Lake Michigan pic. shows one dominant band of lake-effect snow, which produced snowfall rates as high as 3″ in an hour in northern Indiana.  One official at the Gary IN airport said they’ve had “up to 18″ of new snow!   Up to 8 1/2″ of snow fell in the Chicago area.  As ice increases, it will minimize the lake influence (lake-effect clouds, lake-effect warming downwind from the lakes, and lake-effect snow).  The last time the Great Lakes were more than 90% ice covered was 1979.   Even when the temperatures are cold, strong winds (it’ll be windy here on Friday) can act to break up the ice, so getting to 90% ice cover is a very rare event.  It’s not totally clear that all the Great Lakes have ever been 100% frozen over.  Satellite pictures started in 1979 and in prior years, pilots said you could almost always find a small stretch of open water.   Look at the temperature departure from average for the next 16 days from the GFS model…warm in the West…very long period of exceptionally cold air in the East.

Also, Fort Wayne ties the winter of 1977-78 with snowiest winter to date at 33.2″.

48 Responses to “Great Lakes Ice Growing”

  1. Zach says:

    That looks Cold Bill…. how about for a hot video from California’s wildire supression efforts – Firefighting planes refilling their tanks at the Sante Fe Dam while fighting the Colby Wildfire which could be seen from LA last week

  2. Jack says:

    First?? In regards to Thick ICE,and Fishing Here is a Fairly Interesting READ !! Cold weather anglers flock to thick ice; effects of ice on fish mixed
    Great Lakes Echo ‎- 1 day ago
    Fish experts are keeping a close eye on how winter conditions progress, a clue to how fish populations in the Great Lakes and Michigan’s … ;-) . Stay cued !!!

  3. michael g (SE GR) says:

    That link isn’t the Euro, it’s actually the next 16 days according to the GFS. Shows Lake Michigan moderating our temps to about 18* below normal over a 16 day period. Would be one to remember if it turns out.

    1. Magster in the 'zoo says:

      Can you clarify what this map is? Forecasted new snow or current cover?i

      1. DF (SE Mich) says:

        Forecasted over the next 120 hours. GFS weather model.

        1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

          Which is always overstated.

        2. Jim S (Saugatuck Twp) says:

          Last week the GFS and NAM were predicting about the same for the lakeshore, but nothing close to that materialized. I’m wondering if the models don’t catch onto the fact that the lake is extremely cold with quite a bit of ice cover.

  4. DF (SE Mich) says:

    This is a very cool departure from average ice map. Anything blue is above average. WAY above average.

    1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      That is VERY interesting. Good stuff, DF.

  5. Jack says:

    Pure Michigan FISHING HERE :::: Record-Setting Catfish Caught In Michigan [VIDEO] « CBS Detroit
    4 days ago – Record-Setting Catfish Caught In Michigan [VIDEO]. January 17, 2014 … Blakley was ice fishing for crappies when he landed the record fish.
    Darn BIG CAT !!! Check it Out Folks !!

    1. Brian(Grandville) says:

      Try that link again Jack, want to see!

      1. Jack says:

        BRIAN…3rd Time is The CHARM or CAT FISH !!!! CUE: ;-)

        1. Brian(Grandville) says:

          Nice! Never heard of pulling cats through the ice, and a state record to boot.

        2. jerry hoag says:

          Jack my man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MANY THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

    I must say, the sunshine shining brightly on the fresh snow and partially clear roads were quite the treats this morning.

    1. Brian(Grandville) says:

      Yes indeed, love it!

  7. Brian(Grandville) says:

    FWIT, the latest 00Z NAM is stronger with this weekends system. Once again, not buying into anything until I look at the radar, and out the window.

    1. John (Norton Shores) says:

      The NAM is also going ballistic on snowfall totals, areas north of Grand Rapid could get 12-14″ of snow thru Saturday per the NAM but since we are 3 days away from Saturday I’m betting the NAM will probably change 5 or 6 more times before then. I sure hope the NAM is right though that would be a nice snowfall

    2. John (Norton Shores) says:

      Also a couple days ago the GFS was also pretty aggressive on the system for Saturday but has since dropped the snow totals for Saturday but hopefully the GFS will jump aboard again but knowing the relationship the NAM and GFS have (yes relationship lol) the GFS will be opposite

  8. WpwPlz says:

    WPC – is giving 70-80 odds of snowfall > 2″ for basically everyone north of GR and near 131 to the west, with higher pops near the lake per the usual. (Wed 24 hr period). I’ll take it for two reasons: First I need my snow fix like Ca needs rain, and also there predictions are usually conservative. That should give most of us a solid 3″ and those that are in the North and West areas will be blessed with 3-5″ of the fluffy white pure uncut Michigan gold, better known to some as snow. :)

  9. Wswplz says:

    January 21, 2014 at 9:57 pm
    WPC – is giving 70-80 odds of snowfall > 2″ for basically everyone north of GR and near 131 to the west, with higher pops near the lake per the usual. (Wed 24 hr period). I’ll take it for two reasons: First I need my snow fix like Ca needs rain, and also there predictions are usually conservative. That should give most of us a solid 3″ and those that are in the North and West areas will be blessed with 3-5″ of the fluffy white pure uncut Michigan gold, better known to some as snow.

  10. Travis Ulberg (West of Martin, Allegan County) says:

    Philidelphia is receiving their 3rd 6+” snowfall this winter with winter storm Janus. This is the first time since the 1800′s that Philidelphia has had 3 6+” snowfalls before February 1st. That’s a pretty incredible stat.

  11. John (Norton Shores) says:

    00Z GFS is stronger as well for the Saturday system but takes the heaviest snow thru pretty fast

    1. Brian (Grandville) says:

      Keep the shovel handy, might need it.

  12. John (Norton Shores) says:

    GFS snowfall totals thru a week from now, you can say that’s a lot of snow from now until a week from now! 12-14″ for me, of course all is subject to change

  13. Jack says:

    ” Ice Breaking VIDEO “”" From Earlier in Jan. On lake Michigan , Green Bay Wisconsin :::: CHECK IT OUT !!! ;-)

    1. Wswplz says:

      That’s pretty cool,, never seen that done before. Looks peaceful out there, well at least in that vessel but in my boat not so much. Lol

    2. Brian (Grandville) says:

      Nice video Jack. Looks like a scene from the arctic region.

      1. Wswplz says:

        Haven’t you heard, this is the arctic, just open your door and breath.

  14. Wswplz says:

    I would rather the 84hr nam then the GFS on a 7 day forecast. Nam 12-15 for half the time. Really anything past 72 is a 90% wish list. The graph looks pretty, but as far as accuracy, well we all know that answer.

    1. John (Norton Shores) says:

      I would take both, doesn’t matter to me as long as we get at least 6 or more inches of snow over the next week, this no snow pattern gets boring

      1. Wswplz says:

        Yes we would take both like kids in a candy store. However if you thinking which might have a better chance of coming true with only loosing an inch and having to add 3 more days, I’ll take the 84 hr NAM. Then take a look what’s in store 72 hours later for desert. I mean they are basically fantasy anyways. For me anything beyond 72, maybe 84 is just a tease. Just me…..

        1. Jack says:

          *** JEM Model***** “Tease” !!!! Humongous SNOW Storm Coming FEB.10th****** Lol…STAY CUED!!

        2. Jack says:

          Thanks for Staying Cued ! Here is a John Parr Tune from quite few Years BACK !! Speaking of ” TEASING”"”" cut Called naughty,Naughty !! SPIN ::: ;-)

        3. Wswplz says:

          Oh my, those clothes…. Lol. I can’t even type, got to love the 80′s. The funny part is, I’ve been in that area many times, grew up about 40 min from there. That was life before cybor- world, back when you actually saw your friends when you talked to them. Lol. Remember those days Jack.

        4. Jack says:

          WSW , I do remember Those Days . I also Remember ” These Days” !!!! Cue ::: One of my Faves by J.Browne !!! ;-)

        5. jerry hoag says:

          Jack so your JEM Model is predicting a HUGE STORM for the 10th of February????? Maybe 24 inches of snow and Very High Winds!!!!!! That would be a blast!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Wswplz says:

    So what kind of formula is going on here? I wish lol….

    1. Wswplz says:

      That would be great if that graphic was remotely accurate….. Well I hope we see some good snow tomorrow, I would be happy with a solid 3″ of course I wouldn’t complain if that number was x2!! Anyways Jack, great spins as per usual, and I’ll catch ya later since I’m up in 4 hours…

  16. Cort S. says:

    Breaking news… the latest Euro does NOTHING to change the upper-level longwave ridge-trough pattern across North America… for the next week… again.


    1. Jack says:

      Good Morning Cort : Have ya seen This ” New Use for Drones” LOVE it “Beer Delivery while ICE FISHING !!! Check it OUT!!! :-)

      1. jerry hoag says:

        Those drones——->>>>>>>>>>>>>> are good uses for that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! JACK YES for that!!!!!!!!!!

  17. steven says:

    On the subject of ice fishing a guy down the road from us on Derby Lake between Stanton and Sidney in Montcalm county, about 3 weeks ago caught a 44in and 42in pike off tip ups I believe on the same day. Over the years multiple pike longer than 40in have been taken out of the lake. I think back in the late 70′s someone else had speared one over 45in. Seems as though I haven’t seen much people out here fishing as I have in the past, especially on the weekends. This year, you will need either a REALLY good hand auger or gas auger as I estimate there is a good 2 feet of ice atleast, down here in the cove on the east end.

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