Great Lakes 91 Percent Frozen, Near All-Time Record

Published March 7, 2014

The Great Lakes are 91 percent frozen just two weeks before spring officially begins, marking the second highest ice extent in recorded history.  In an average year, the Great Lakes’ maximum ice extent is just 50 percent. The all-time record ice extent is 95 percent, set in 1979.

It has been 18 years since the Great Lakes were remotely close to their current ice extent. In February 1996, the Great Lakes were 82 percent frozen. Climate experts say the Great Lakes may break the all-time record during the next two weeks as colder than normal temperatures are expected to persist through the beginning of spring.

During the month of January, the U.S. Midwest averaged five to 10 degrees below average, and extremely cold temperatures persisted throughout February and into March.

No word yet from Al Gore.