Record set for ice cover on Lake Michigan, not on Great Lakes

Mar 11, 2014

Pond hockey in Ann Arbor.
Pond hockey is over in Ann Arbor.
Credit Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

My neighbors and I officially had our last "pond hockey" game over the weekend. We moved everything off the ice as things started to melt.

So the ice in the region has reached its peak, right? No one thinks we're going to be hit with another prolonged polar vortex, do they? 

Let's hope not.

With the most frigid part of this winter over, let's look at the record books for ice cover on the Great Lakes.

Here's what we know.

  • Lake Michigan's ice cover set a record on Saturday, March 8, 2014 with 93.29% of the lake's surface covered with ice, according to records from the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. 
  • The maximum ice coverage on the Great Lakes as a whole maxed out at 92.19% on Thursday, March 6, 2014 – not quite the record.

The Associated Press reports this year's maximum ice total for Lake Michigan broke a 37-year record of 93.1% set in 1977. And this year's maximum total ice coverage for the entire Great Lakes is second to the record set back in February of 1979 (94.7%).

Here are the maximums for each lake:

  1. Lake Erie – 96.40% on March 6, 2014
  2. Lake Huron – 96.30% on March 6, 2014
  3. Lake Superior – 95.74% on March 5, 2014
  4. Lake Michigan – 93.29% on March 8, 2014
  5. Lake Ontario – 61.52% on March 6, 2014

Ice coverage fell on the Great Lakes fell to 83.94% as of yesterday. So the lakes are reacting to the warmer temperatures. Spring is coming, which in Michigan means.... get ready for a snowstorm.