Measly Lake Michigan ice coverage as yearly trends show less ice

NOW: Measly Lake Michigan ice coverage as yearly trends show less ice

We are right in the middle of February and typically this is the time of year when Lake Michigan is at its peak ice coverage for the season. With an extremely warm December, a fairly mild January and now a very warm February, ice coverage over Lake Michigan never really had a chance to get started. Currently the Lake Michigan ice coverage is barely over 5% which is measly compared to the normal ice coverage this time of winter of almost 30%.

As the climate continues to warm our annual maximum Lake Michigan ice coverage continues to decrease winter over winter. In the early 1970s Lake Michigan's average maximum ice coverage was closer to 50% but over the last 50 years that ice coverage has steadily decreased to the near 30% it is today. We still have some cold winters here and there with good ice coverage but overall it's nearly half of what it used to be. 

The lack of ice really impacts our winter activities such as ice fishing and has a big impact on the ecosystem of the Lakes. Don't expect any good ice formation this week with highs reaching near or above 50* during the middle of the week. 

Download the CBS 58 Ready Weather app to track the temps.

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