Lake Superior Is Basically In The Middle Of A Never-Ending Winter

Illustration for article titled Lake Superior Is Basically In The Middle Of A Never-Ending Winter

Winter may be over, but Lake Superior is unexpectedly still covered in ice, which is up to 18-inches thick in some spots.

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The picture was snagged by one of NASA's satellites this week and shows the largest of the great lakes still over 60% covered in ice. To get a sense of just how weird the persistent cover of ice is, check out this graph which looks at the ice cover of the great lakes every year since 1981.

Illustration for article titled Lake Superior Is Basically In The Middle Of A Never-Ending Winter
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This year's ice cover isn't just unusual, it's a complete anomaly, underscored especially by the fact that average water temperatures in the great lakes have been steadily rising over the same time period. Researchers attribute the unusually persistent cover of ice to just how deep of a freeze the lake underwent in the frigid temperatures this winter.

Image: NASA Earth Observatory.

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DISCUSSION

DavidGustafson
David Gustafson

The icebreakers have managed to open enough channels to get freighters into and out of Duluth. This photo is of the Captain Henry Jackman passing through the harbor entrance last night. So there is open water — just shockingly less than is the usual, this time of year.