Final Map of Maximum Ice on the Great Lakes 2014

March 8th, 2014 at 2:14 am by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

GL_Ice_Cover_Max   Click on the image to enlarge or click here.   This graphic from GLERL (NOAA) shows the maximum ice reached on the Great Lakes for 2014, which was Thursday, March 6 and compares it to the highest ice extent in 1994 (on Feb. 14) and in 1979 (on Feb. 19).   Lake Michigan peaked on Wednesday (March 5th) at 92.19%.  The record ice coverage on Lake Michigan was 93.1% in 1977 – so we missed it by less than 1%.  Records go back to the mid 1970s.  I had pilots tell me that in those cold winters of the late 1970s, we always still had small stretches of open water on Lake Michigan.  I have also heard pilots said the same thing in the cold winter of 1936.   The depth of the lake plays a significant part in the ability of the cold air to generate an ice cover.  Lake Erie is the southernmost Great Lake, but also the shallowest, so it often has the highest percentage of ice cover.  Lake Ontario often has the least percent of ice cover.  Look at this MODIS picture of Lake Ontario taken Friday, March 7.   What’s interesting is that two of New York’s Finger Lakes still have open water!  These are deep lakes.  Seneca Lake (on the left in the satellite picture) is 618 feet deep at it’s deepest point and Cayuga Lake on the right is 435 feet deep (there is some ice at the north end of the lake).  Lake Erie’s deepest point is 210 feet.  The average depth of Lake Erie is 63 feet.  The average depth of Seneca Lake is 291 feet and the average depth of Cayuga Lake is 182 feet.  Here’s a little article on why these two “finger lakes” don’t freeze over in the winter.    The ice will very slowly melt over the next 3-5 weeks.   There’s a lot of ice and cold water there, so the lake-breeze will be a prominent feature of our spring and summer weather maps.   Here’s the MODIS pictures from Friday of Lake Huron, Lake Erie, Lake Michigan and Lake Superior (Superior pic. is from Thurs.).

237 Responses to “Final Map of Maximum Ice on the Great Lakes 2014”

  1. John (Norton Shores) says:

    The NWS only has two days next week below freezing most of the other days are in the upper 30′s or 40′s

    1. Sandy (Hudsonville) says:

      This is what we need to slowly melt all this snow. It would be awesome if we could melt it without any flooding.

  2. SlimJim NW GR (1) says:

    At this time the next 6 to 10 and maybe beyond look to be hum ho at the best. It looks like no real warm temps and just chances of light precipitation. The GFS off and on keeps hinting of a larger system in the longer range guess around March 23rd or so. That could be a cold rain and or ice event. The temp is now up to 34° here.

  3. It is currently 33 here at my house, and I just got my first peek of sunshine so far today!

  4. Travis (Oakland County) says:

    Lots of sun again today and more melting. Not bad for the coolest day out of the next several.

    1. Wswplz says:

      Yes it is melting, and it think it’s going to melt a bit quicker then we think, well the majority of the up snow at least, as some might make it through the end of the month. This isn’t my favorite time of year or at least till things start to turn green.

    2. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      Did it just come out? Home now, but left Lake Orion at 2:30. I haven’t seen one peek of sun at all today.

      1. Wswplz says:

        Cloudy here now, but we did get some sun here earlier.

      2. Travis (Oakland County) says:

        Came out for good around 3pm

        1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

          Lucky dog. Still cloudy here.

    3. Jeremy (Three Rivers) says:

      Been cloudy here all day.

  5. Paul (Yankee Springs-Barry State Game Area) says:

    34° here….solid clouds and still 20″ on the ground

  6. Jack says:

    Talk about a waste of Time $$$$. A group of at least 20 U.S. senators plan to raise the issue of climate change in a high-profile way with the American public by staging an all-night talkathon on the floor of the Senate beginning Monday night, March 10.

    The idea for the overnight session was first announced in January by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), a member of the Senate Climate Action Task Force, an informal group of about 20 senators who plan to raise the visibility of the issue this year and press their colleagues to take legislative action to fight global warming.

    Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), the member of Congress who is perhaps most identified with climate change thanks to his weekly addresses on the topic, said the purpose of Monday night’s session is to “break the pattern of the Senate and show the interest of at least 20 senators who will be participating through the night.”

    While congressional action on climate change is highly unlikely this year, the senators behind both the task force and Monday night’s session say they see new momentum within the country to make progress on the issue in a meaningful way.

    “I think it’s fair to say that some of the longtime climate champions are finding that they have new reinforcements,” Sen. Schatz told Bloomberg BNA in January.

    Joining Sens. Schatz and Whitehouse at the all-night session, according to a report at the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, will be Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.); Cory Booker (D-N.J.); Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.); Ben Cardin (D-Md.); Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.); Al Franken (D-Minn.); Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.); Angus King (I-Maine); Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.); Ed Markey (D-Mass.); Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.); Chris Murphy (D-Conn.); Bill Nelson (D-Fla.); Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.); Jeanne Shaheen (D-Mo.); Tom Udall (D-N.M.); Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.); and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). Stay Cued….. Free Beer !!! Monday Night , ;-)

    1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      Someone could just turn off the microphone.

      1. Wswplz says:

        They will keep talking as they enjoy the sound of there own voice.

        1. Jack says:

          Cue, Eagles ” Certian Kinda Fool”. ::::: ;-) .

        2. Wswplz says:

          It’s the Eagles what can is say, always good stuff…Jack you see anything in the storm pipe so to speak. Look-in like a lull in the action for our near to mid future, or it could be the calm before the snow bomb…..hehe

    2. SW Kent says:

      What a joke. Democrats wasting time and money. Again!

      1. Ansel says:

        Again majority of scientists agree on climate change. I think I will go with their opinion. The fog machine climate change data has been put through has really been effective. The age of anti-intellectualism is upon us.

        1. yooper4021 says:

          So assuming your opinion is true, what should be done about it?

        2. Toro 99 says:

          Name one scientist that believes the climate DOESN’T change over time and I will buy you a beer.

        3. Ned S. (East of Holland) says:

          The majority of scientists get their grant money by parroting “Climate Change.” Does anyone think that they are going to kill the cash cow that feeds them by saying otherwise?

        4. Bill Steffen says:

          The majority of scientists accept the fact that global temperatures have been flat since 2002:

          Even Hansen admits it: “The five-year mean global temperature has been flat for the last decade…” – James Hansen et al.

          The climate models are failing. This from Dr. Judith Curry, Head of Climate Science at Georgia Tech:

          For the past 16 years, there has been no significant increase in surface temperature. There is a growing discrepancy between observations and climate model projections. Observations since 2011 have fallen below the 90% envelope of climate model projections
          The IPCC does not have a convincing or confident explanation for this hiatus in warming.
          There is growing evidence of decreased climate sensitivity to atmospheric carbon dioxideconcentrations
          Based on expert judgment in light of this evidence, the IPCC 5th assessment report lowered its surface temperature projection relative to the model projections for the period 2016-2036.

    3. Ansel says:

      See below.

    4. Ned S. (East of Holland) says:

      The most left of the left. These people are clueless, hopeless and feckless!

  7. peggie says:

    i saw a patch of grass today

    1. Matt (Spring Lake) says:


  8. Wswplz says:

    Man this forecast can’t get much more boring than it is now…zzzzz. With that being said I’m glad to see the flood risk go down over the next week or so. One thing I’ve learned about this year is to not expect the quiet weather to last, I’m sure old man winter will have a departing gift for us as we are lulled to sleep with this tranquil weather.

    1. Wswplz says:

      * you know the weather to be rather quiet when the headline for NWS is proposed changes to the weather icons and not upcoming weather events…lol

      1. SBPortage002 says:

        I am loving this boring weather, but that’s just me. Looking forward to the sun tomorrow and Monday.

        1. SBPortage002 says:

          And I have viewed the proposed new icons. They look good. Hope the NWS starts using them.

        2. Wswplz says:

          Ya, and that is one thing that is great about Michigan as we get the full gamut of weather here for all to enjoy!!

        3. Wswplz says:

          Icons look good in my option too

  9. Nothing like a one sided political statements…….weather blog please!!

    1. Jack says:

      CUE, Jackson Browne…..I am a Patriot ::::: Stay Cued for Lots of Severe STORMS, This Spring/ Summer,,,MINDY….Weather WISE?? ;-)

      1. jerry hoag says:

        JACK,,,,AMEN BROTHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Severe storms this year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES bring them on!!!!!!!!! I cant wait!!!!!!! We are getting so much closer to them!!!!! WAHOOOOOO Soon it will be flashing and crashing and swishing and hailing!!!!!! MAN I CANT WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BRING ON A SEVERE WEATHER SEASON OF 2014!!!!!!!!!!

        1. Brian(Grandville) says:

          I’d like to keep my power, but whatever floats your boat I guess. Amen brother to no destruction this year. Good grief.

    2. Wswplz says:

      Well, since we don’t have any weather to speak of….why what do you mean, one-sided statements, please clarify so we can agree or disagree. Hehe….

      1. michael g (SE GR) says:

        Mindy is a well known tree hugging, Snyder hating, Obama loving busybody.

        1. Wswplz says:

          Easy…how do you really feel. jeez…

    3. michael g (SE GR) says:

      I’ll comment on them wasting my money all day long Mindy. Trying to fix a problem that doesn’t exist, AND if it did, couldn’t be fixed by us anyway, as long as China and other developing countries continue to increase their emissions faster than we could ever cut ours.

      1. Wswplz says:

        I agree with the China and others being key polluters but I do believe that might be part of the discussion that they are having, if not it should be….

        1. Wswplz says:

          I think that might just wrap up the conversation…lol. Now back to our boring weather…zzzzz

        2. Jack says:

          BORING..hmmm. Let’s Try This to Spice it Up a Little. Any One Want Place A BET, When West Michigan will Get It’s First Severe Thunder WARNING … Takers ??? Stayin CUED….. He,,heeeee

        3. Wswplz says:

          I hope as soon as possible…Just a pure guess, as it only could be…..Let’s say April 27th

        4. jerry hoag says:

          Jack I say April 3rd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The first Severe Thunderstorm Warning!!!!!!!!

        5. Brian(Grandville) says:


      2. Rocky (Rockford) says:

        May 30th!

  10. How, did I just hear Laura say some areas may reach 50 DEGREES! on Monday?! I thiink so! That is going to be a heat wave. Time to get the shorts and sun tan lotion ready lol. We should melt a few inches that day I am sure. My current snowcover is 17 inches but it is dwindling pretty fast

      1. Florida1993 says:

        Even though they’re saying the snowstorm will be south of us, I am still keeping it in the back of my mind. If we do get through without a major snow event then from there and out it is going to be a gradual snowmelt, which is exactly what we want.

    1. jerry hoag says:

      Hey Kyle how much longer do you think it will take to get rid of this snow pack??????

  11. Not sure if there are any turkey hunters on this blog but my dad told be he saw his first one beginning to strut! Not sure if they are gobbling yet but with these warmer temps I am sure they will

    1. Eileen (Hesperia) says:

      I have also noticed that the male goldfinches that I’ve been feeding all winter long are starting to show a hint of yellow in their feathers :)

      1. Ned S. (East of Holland) says:

        That is truly a good sign of spring.

  12. Hey Michael g, if your gonna call me names your a Right Wing Wacko, you think i’m going to set back and not say anyting about your Right Wing Wacko posts…..your wrong!!

    1. Ned S. (East of Holland) says:

      Mindy, you need to work on the old grammar. Your vs. You’re. :-)

    2. Dan (Byron Center) says:

      Mindy, I think you just did. Just sayin….

    3. Michael g (se GR) says:

      I’m actually much more into reality than either wing. They’re both royally screwing up the country with their overspending .

    4. Michael g (se GR) says:

      People like you who believe EITHER of the current parties are the solution, YOU are the problem.

  13. Brian(Grandville) says:

    Nice win by Michigan to close out the regular season tonight. They’re playing great ball at the right time.

  14. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

    We have finally broke out of the cold and snowy pattern and changed things with an up-n-down pattern as per typical for March. Temperatures will definitely be colder than average overall, but at least we are moderating things a bit relative to the past few weeks. Heres hopes to a continued moderating trend and an increase in thunderstorm activity!

      1. Bobby (Ada) says:

        Who knew?! Lol

      2. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

        I’m sure you are looking forward to those thunderstorms lol

    1. Barry in Zeeland says:

      Agreed! Monday will be three weeks since I last touched a shovel and more than likely will be the last time for the season as the sun now quickly melts anything on the driveway. We are in a NO SNOW pattern with NO CHANGE in sight!!!

      1. Wayne (South of GR) says:

        I predicted a cold and dry pattern 3 weeks ago.
        Rocky and Indy slammed me to no end.
        I also have not shoveled for 3 weeks.
        Who knew?

        1. Cali1005 says:

          They’re going to continue to say we will get snowstorms well into April.

        2. Mark (East Lansing) says:

          They slam, insult, and name-call anyone that does not completely agree with them. But alas, I find them harmless and sometimes entertaining.

    2. Cali1005 says:

      Cool and for the most part dry for the most part in the next two weeks. Hopefully if we do get a significant rain event most of the snow will be gone.

      1. Cali1005 says:

        Whoops didn’t mean to sound redundant lol

        1. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

          I do that a lot too! I agree with your statement btw… We are between storm tracks and still in a relatively cool pattern. That might break by the end of the month though.

    3. Jack says:

      Agree Nathan , Bring on The Thunder BOOMS & Lightning ZOOMS !!! I Believe Bill Stated in a Previous Thread, He is expecting a ACTIVE Severe Weather Season, Here in Good OLE MICHIGAN !! IMHO He Is Correct ….STAY CUED Thunder Storm Lovers….. ;-) .

      1. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

        Yeah, bring on the boom booms! The GR bubble has popped and we are ready for business!

        1. Cali1005 says:

          Now we wait as the snow slowly starts to melt :)

      2. jerry hoag says:

        Jack you are correct Bill did state that in a previous thread and also when they did the winter special a few weeks back!!!!!!! I AM SO READY FOR IT!!!!!!

    4. jerry hoag says:


    5. jerry hoag says:


      1. Larry of Hastings, barry co says:

        The last week in March, will be our first severe storm. We could see one sooner,nothing normal about our weather lately.

    1. Cali1005 says:

      I’ve noticed that model changes like every hour. Cant trust it. Face it Rocky the slow thaw is beginning :)

      1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

        I agree that a slow thaw has begun, however we will be seeing more COLD and SNOW along with two more SNOWSTORMS before this winter is over! Mark it down! ROCK n ROLL will never die!

        1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

          Good for you, Rock. Never give up.

        2. Paul m says:

          Dude it been a great winter but we’re turning a season called spring!

        3. SW Kent says:

          Keep it up Rocky. Great work!

    2. Wswplz says:

      That could pack some decent winds if that dropped down…

      1. Wswplz says:

        * as would a hurricane…..temperature tracking and snow melt pattern until further notice. Boring but reality..

  15. Wswplz says:

    We really need some weather to speak about, as our trusty weather blog slows to a crawl, weather you like the tranquil pattern or not, this remains to be true. So as I’ve been saying for a few weeks now if the snow train has left, bring in the convective storms stat or both.. Just bring something plz..! :)

  16. on the Grand says:

    Call me crazy, but I am getting the yard furniture out tomorrow. As soon as I can get the shed door to open. I am sure one more day of melting will do it. Yes we have some turkeys here. Let me tell you, you do not fool around with those things, even the cats are afraid of them and yes turkeys can fly. They do a shorta running hip hop jump off the seawall and take off about two feet from the water and glide across the river to the island. It is scarey to watch because you are not sure if they are going to make it, but they always do.

    1. Brian(Grandville) says:

      They are not a very graceful bird, that’s for sure. In the morning they kinda seem to just fall out of their roost.

  17. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

    Hey Bill, can you accept my friend request on Facebook? I think it worked!

  18. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

    I haven’t really seen this rapid snow melt some are talking about. It is melting slowly, at least around here. Sure there is some melting, especially in southern exposed areas…but we have LOTS more to go.

  19. Katie in Kentwood says:

    I could see the grass in some areas today. That made me very happy!!

  20. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

    This map made me chuckle. Snow fall map with amounts down to the tenth of an inch! Now THAT is dedication. :)

  21. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

    Whoa. The 00z GFS would give us over 2 feet of snow from a snowstorm about a week away. I know it will change, but I don’t think I have ever seen it show this much for a snowstorm.

    1. Brian(Grandville) says:

      Yeah Matt, I just saw that too. The next month is gonna be a roller coaster around here I think.

  22. Brian(Grandville) says:

    Don’t forget to set the clocks 1 hour ahead tonight. Why?
    1. We don’t gain any more sunlight because of it.
    2. The temps. don’t get any warmer because of it.
    3. The snow won’t melt any faster because of it.

    1. Jack says:

      Ha, SPIN…The Highway Men…… ” Sunday Morning Coming Down “”". :::: ;-) . Stay Cued.. & God Bless….. :-)

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