Lake Michigan Ice

February 15th, 2014 at 9:51 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

modis lake michigan   modis lake huron modis lake erie modis lake ontario Here’s the MODIS satellite pictures from Saturday PM – a rare mostly (but not totally) clear day across the Great Lakes.  Click on the pictures to enlarge.  In order, we have Lakes Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario.  As of Friday, GLERL reports that the Great Lakes are 80.2% ice-coveredLake Michigan is at 66.5% ice coverLake Superior 86.1%, Lake Huron 91.8%, Lake Erie 93.4% and Lake Ontario 35.5%.  Look at this graph of ice on Lake Michigan this season.   Note how the ice coverage fluctuates…it’s not just a steady linear climb.  Fluctuations are often due to changes in wind speed and direction.  Trough over the Great Lakes at the end of the month, looks cold for Michigan.  Peak ice may not come until early March.

Also:  Lowest Wind Chill Record for the state of Alaska set at Howard Pass, Alaska on Feb. 14, 3:39 pm AKST at -97F. Old record: -96 F.   Snow at the State Capitol in Atlanta this morning.  They had a 95mph wind gust  at Berthoud Pass, CO early this morning, with 60-70mph gusts at Colorado Springs.  The latest storm produced a 91-foot wave of Penzance, U.K.  There was a supermarket roof collapse yesterday in Felters Corners, NY due to heavy wet snow. Many other roof collapses across NY & NJ.  We’ve had half a dozen here in West Michigan.   850-pound snowball smashes into college dorm.

19 Responses to “Lake Michigan Ice”

  1. Sara (N. Muskegon) says:

    Is the ice coverage going to affect Lake MI water temperatures this summer?

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      It’ll have an effect during the early spring and maybe a slight effect after that, but the lake this summer will pretty much respond to current weather.

    2. ~ Sandy~ from Dewitt/Clinton County says:

      Great question!! Thanks Bill

  2. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

    I love these satellite pictures! It looks like there is still a lot of open water over Lake Michigan.

    In regards to the roof collapsing, I saw many neighbors cleaning off theirs while I was walking this evening.

  3. Brian(Grandville) says:

    00Z GFS has backed off quite a bit on the mid week warm up.

    1. DF (SE Mich) says:

      Same as it’s been all winter.

  4. Wow, quite the light show on Alden Nash right now and 96 as I type this. I saw over a dozen police cars, at least a half a dozen ambulances and about 5 firetrucks in that area for the accident. I am at my dad’s house just up the road from the accident. Alden Nash is closed right now between 52nd and 96. The accident is on the overpass so no getting on eastbound 96 from Alden Nash. They are allowing traffic off 96 going westbound, but they re-route you to Cascade Rd. I know this is a blog for weather, but I’m just typing this for anyone who may be headed toward that area

    1. Wswplz says:

      Prayers go out….hope nothing to serious. When I started to read your post I began to go outside because I thought you were talking about the northern lights, as I read on I wish that you were. God Bless..

  5. Wswplz says:

    A 91 foot wave….what? That is huge, beyond huge!! Used to live in Northern Ca, until I went off to college and often used to frequent Mavericks ( ” beach” not far Santa Cruz. ) and watch people ride 40′ plus waves…crazy. I can’t imagine something twice as high….are they sure a large bird didn’t pick up the weather buoy…lol. That sounds like a record size wave, even in rouge wave standards…..

    1. Irish coffee says:

      “Chasing Mavericks” is a good flick/ based on true story..check it out(Gerard Butler)

      1. Wswplz says:

        Yes , that was a good movie I thought. Wasn’t expecting much, however pleasant surprise.

  6. Barry in Zeeland says:

    850 foot “snowfall”? Funny. I’m assuming that was meant to be “snowball”. Wouldn’t want to be buried under a 850 foot snowfall!

    1. Barry in Zeeland says:

      Wow, and I meant “pound”, not “foot”. Getting late.

    2. Wswplz says:

      So you think 850″ would be to much for the extreme few snow lovers on this blog…lol that would be bad…but a 850 pound snow ball might be a bit scary too, depending on ones vantage point… :)

  7. Wswplz says:

    Interesting to look at the radar, it looks like a bit of lake enhancement to the snow that is making its way across the lake. Looks to be a few good bands / areas of moderate snow setting up near and north of Muskegon, interesting to see if it holds together.

    1. Wswplz says:

      Be nice to pick up an inch to just cover all the dirty snow, but I think with all this dry air that would be optimistic, so probably a dusting until Monday when we have a good chance for 3-5″.

    2. Wswplz says:

      I guess with a south wind at only 10 knots it might not be lake enhancement…sorry for all the posts

  8. Joe Beardsley (N. Muskegon) says:

    Hey Bill, why so little ice on Lake Ontario? Thank you.

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      For one, Lake Ontario is a deep lake. It’s 802 feet deep at its deepest point, nearly 4 times deeper than the deepest point in Lake Erie. The AVERAGE depth of Lake Ontario is deeper than the deepest point in Lake Erie. The average depth of Lake Ontario is also slightly deeper than the average depth of Lake Michigan. Secondly, it’s usually a touch warmer at Lake Ontario, as the prevailing W-NW wind often has to cross one (or two) of the other Great Lakes before reaching Lake Ontario. Lake Ontario also is elongated east/west – which is the prevailing wind. Strong winds can break up the ice or stir the water to prevent ice from forming in cold pockets.

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