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Health, Science and Environment

Great Lakes ice levels at near record lows


The Great Lakes are toying with new records this winter… this time for how little ice they have. 

Less than ten-percent of the great lakes are frozen over right now, as we sit in mid-winter… normally experts say, the lakes would have 25 to 30-percent ice cover. 

Jim Keysor is the meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service office in Gaylord. 

Certainly what we’ve seen up through the middle of January has been really some of the lowest ice levels we’ve ever seen on the Great Lakes historically.

Keysor noted that this is a La Niña winter and things could change.

"La Nina’s tend to be backloaded winters, meaning that the worst of the winter, La Nina-wise, tends to be the second half of the winter. So if that’s the case, we’re not out of the woods yet. February and March could still turn quite cold and quite snowy, and we’ve had La Nias winters to do that."


Keysor said low ice cover allows for higher evaporation on the great lakes, and that in turn could mean lower water levels this spring and summer.