Since we last brought you some Scene
Ice News on Dec. 22
, the Great Lakes' collective ice coverage has more than doubled.
U.S. Coast Guard's Hollyhock ice-cutter
Surely you've noticed the face-numbing north shore temperatures lately; this may be
the first year since 2000 that will see almost every part of Lake Erie frozen over. (This is different, according to NOAA, than a "100-percent frozen" lake.)
This very nifty Great Lakes Environmental Research Library tool
shows that Lake Erie should be about 50-percent covered in ice by New Year's Day. The U.S. Coast Guard's ice-cutter, "Hollyhock," will likely be needed in the lake's western basin, by Toledo, this weekend.
The variability in Lake Erie ice coverage year-to-year can be taken as part and parcel of climatic change in the northern hemisphere. Last year, according to GLERL data, the lake hit about 20-percent ice coverage. The "polar vortex" winter of 2013-2014 saw 92-percent ice coverage. This winter may eclipse that mark, if trends bear out.
Nevertheless, don't take this as your cue to get into ice camping