Updated: 02/10/2014 8:40 PM
Created: 02/10/2014 5:06 PM WDIO.com
By: Laurie Stribling
It's been a season full of winter blues. We had the third snowiest December on record, the third coldest winter on record and now this could be the first time since 1996 that Lake Superior freezes over.
"If you're going to be this cold, you might as well get something out of it like a record," visitor Sandy Friedland, who is originally from Duluth, said.
The last time Lake Superior became a full-blown ice rink was 1996, according to the National Weather Service.
It was reported that the lake was 93.5 percent frozen last Friday, but Monday the National Weather Service said it was 88.3 percent covered. They blamed weekend winds for the change.
"I haven't seen that much ice on it in a long time," visitor Gregg Whitney, who is originally from Duluth, said.
While it hasn't been declared frozen over yet, Great Lakes experts said it will happen this year.
"Oh, absolutely," Professor Jay Austin, with the Large Lakes Observatory, said.
Austin said all it will take is a few nights with no wind and he said the effects will stick around long after the ice melts.
"These high ice years tend to lead to relatively cool summers," Austin said. "So, the lake will stay cool. Duluth will stay cool through most of the summer which I guess is a good thing, but it is going to be tough swimming."
If you're a fan of the polar plunge, that's some good news. You can take the jump this weekend and all summer long, but the possible problems don't stop at swimming.
"What this means is that we're going to have much shorter period when the lake is very productive and lots of photosynthesis goes on," Austin said.
While Austin said the potential outcome is unclear, that photosynthesis helps make up the bottom of the food chain.
As of Monday, the National Weather Service said the Great Lakes combined are 78.2 percent covered in ice.
TIF Plan Will Help Developers Build New Waterfront Hotel
A new hotel near Bayfront Park is one step closer to becoming a reality. The Duluth Economic Development Authority unanimously approved a Tax Increment Financing plan for the Pier B project.
Klobuchar Tours Chisholm Call Center That Is Adding Jobs
Dozens of new jobs will soon be coming to the Iron Range. The Delta Airlines Call Center is expanding in Chisholm and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar toured the facility Wednesday.
Groomers Busy Getting Lutsen Slopes Ready for Two More Weekends
While most ski slopes are closed for the season, Lutsen Mountains Ski Resort is still open for business. For the first time ever, they plan to be open into May. All their groomers are out moving all the spring snow to get the slopes ready for the next two weekends.
Little Falls Homeowner: 2 Teens Shot Were 'Vermin,' not Human
Sixty-five-year-old Byron Smith of Little Falls is on trial for first-degree premeditated murder in the deaths of 18-year-old Haile Kifer and 17-year-old Nick Brady. Smith claims he feared for his life and shot them in self-defense when they broke into his house on Thanksgiving Day 2012.
Walker Signs Bill Cracking Down on Synthetics in Wisconsin
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed into law Wednesday a measure designed to help crack down on the sale of synthetic drugs in the state.