Lake Michigan Ice Animation (Updated 2/14)

The below high resolution visible images of western Lake Michigan from Sheboygan south to Kenosha shows the dramatic increase in ice coverage and thickness from late January through the first two weeks of February.  The last image taken February 14th shows that the brief warmup and brisk winds from Thursday and Thursday night thinned the ice cover over the near shore waters of Lake Michigan and pushed the thicker ice cover out into mid-lake where it partially or fully melted.

Lake Michigan Ice animation

The below chart shows weekly ice coverage on the Great Lakes this winter.  Notice the sharp increase in ice cover since the end of January due to the persistent cold temperatures.

 ice cover

Here is a chart that illustrates the ice coverage on the Great Lakes for the week of February 12th, going back to 1980.  The chart is provided by Environment Canada.


Our current Great Lakes ice coverage continues to be more than double the median value since 1980.  Ice cover on the Great Lakes is almost at 90 percent, the highest since the winter of 1993-94. 

Here is a high resolution visible image of Lakes Michigan and Superior from February 11th.  Most of Lake Superior appears ice covered, while greater than 50 percent of Lake Michigan is covered by ice.  Slightly warmer temperatures on Thursday and gusty winds may cause the ice to erode slightly the next several days.  

Ice on western Great Lakes


National Weather Service Milwaukee/Sullivan


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