With the Great Lakes frozen over, scientists are already saying this is not a new record yet, despite seeming fairly cool to the southern eye. Still, the frozen Great Lakes photos are fairly impressive, especially as seen from space.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, aerial photos show Lake Erie frozen to the point where it is almost as ice-covered as records back from the 1970s, and the Siberian Express has left America covered in white, based upon satellite photos. Although the ice looks pretty thick, a dog became stranded on ice chunks floating in the frozen Great Lakes.
The NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory reported that the Siberian Express had the Great Lakes frozen, up to 85.4 percent of its surface area. As a comparison, the Great Lakes’ most widespread freeze was 94.7 percent in 1979. The ice coverage topped out at 92.2 percent in March of last year, so it is possible the frozen Great Lakes of 2015 could still beat the old record.
As you can see from the satellite photo, gaps in the ice cover can be spotted by the naked eye from space. The peak of 85.4 percent has already been pushed down to around 81 percent, even as the bitter blast of cold kept northern citizens freezing. The most obvious change is Lake Ontario, and according to the Toledo Blade, this change is all due to the wind.
“Records show the ice cover for Lake Ontario dropped from 82.6 percent on Wednesday to 55.8 percent on Thursday. Another big drop occurred in Lake Michigan, which went from 63.2 percent ice cover on Wednesday to 51.7 percent on Thursday. Even Lake Erie dropped from 98.1 percent ice cover to 95.8, despite the Arctic blast.”
The Canadian Ice Service is already predicting that seeing the Great Lakes frozen like this means they can safely predict colder than usual air temperatures through at least the middle of March. According to the Chicagoist, George Leshkevitch of the federal Great Lakes research laboratory in Ann Arbor, Michigan, says the Great Lakes’ ice cover size is usually reduced to zero by May, but last year the ice cover lingered until June. If this event occurs again in 2015, it is highly likely everyone in the area will be experiencing a cool spring.
[Image via Alan Amati]