abc
QUICK LINKS:

Lake Superior Almost Iced Over; May Affect Summer Weather

Updated: 02/10/2014 8:40 PM
Created: 02/10/2014 5:06 PM WDIO.com
By: Laurie Stribling
lstribling@wdio.com

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.

Front Page

  • Man Accused of Intentionally Running Over Woman in Superior Alley

    A Superior man faces a possible charge of attempted second-degree intentional homicide after allegedly running over a woman with a car in an alley early Saturday morning and fleeing the scene.

  • Dayton Suggests Tax Hikes to Tackle Transportation Problem

    Gov. Mark Dayton's plan for transportation would repair or replace 2,200 miles of state roads and 330 bridges, but would come at a noticeable cost to taxpayers.

  • Thousands Flock for Two Harbors Beargrease Marathon Start

    About 45 teams of mushers and dogs took off on the John Beargrease Marathon trail in Two Harbors Sunday afternoon to cheers from thousands of spectators, despite a departure from the traditional race start at Duluth East High School...

  • Wisconsin Lawmaker Hopes to End 'Vaping' Indoors

    Lawmakers are set to reignite conversations this week about whether vaping - using electronic cigarettes and other vapor smoking devices - should be included in Wisconsin's smoking ban. The ban took effect in 2010. It outlaws smoking in all public indoor locations, including restaurants and bars.

  • Campground Fees Rise this Year at Michigan State Parks

    Fees at state-operated campgrounds in Michigan are going up this year to cover higher costs and pay for maintenance projects. Parks and recreation chief Ron Olson of the Department of Natural Resources says the amount of the increase at a particular site depends on its popularity.

 
Advertisement