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.
Woman Hospitalized after Armed Standoff with Deputies in Douglas County
A 22-year-old Lake Nebagamon woman was hospitalized on Wednesday evening after an armed standoff with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.
City of Tower Starts Dredging on Multi-Million-Dollar Harbor Project
The City of Tower is starting a new phase of an old dream. Back in June, WDIO's sister station KSTP reported that Tower's multi-million-dollar Harbor Renaissance Project hadn't gone anywhere in seven years. But Wednesday, the City said they're moving forward.
Minnesota Food Charter Launched at DECC
Around five hundred people flocked to the DECC for the Minnesota Statewide Food Access Summit. One of the big events? The launch of the of the Minnesota Food Charter. Only four other states have a food charter, but Food Charter Steering Committee Chair Mindy Kurzer said number five is unique.
Bong Bridge to Reopen Friday
The Duluth-bound lanes of the Richard I. Bong Bridge are expected to reopen Friday morning after a summer of construction. Superior-bound lanes have remained open this year but will be closed next year.
TV Campaign Ads Make Wealth an Issue in Minn. Election
It seems an hour doesn't go by without several television campaign ads criticizing a candidate for having millions of dollars or trying to line his or her pockets at government expense. Class warfare is nothing new in politics, but it certainly is more pronounced in Minnesota this year because of two Republican candidates: Stewart Mills and Mike McFadden. They've been the target of a barrage of attack ads aimed at their personal wealth and how they accumulated it.