As many of you know very cold air has been lingering over much of the Great Lakes region over the past week with low temperatures dropping into the teens and 20s below zero and high temperatures struggling to reach above zero. Along with the low temperatures the wind made it feel very uncomfortable with wind chills reaching into the 30s below zero in many areas. To further drive home the point about the cold weather take a look at the high-resolution satellite imagery below. The image to the left shows the lack of ice cover over the Bay of Green Bay and over the northeast corner of Lake Michigan, near St. Ignace. As we fast-forward 10 days, take a look at the image on the right and it is possible to see that most of the Bay of Green Bay is completely frozen and a large amount of ice has formed between Manistique and St. Ignace.
Along with the colder air moving into the area a marked increase in the cloud cover across the area was very noticeable. Some locations have also experienced nearly seven days of fairly steady snowfall, especially in the lake effect areas favored by a northwesterly wind. Taking a look at the image below, which was taken on Tuesday, January 22, 2013, it is possible to see how extensive the cloud cover has actually been. This increased cloud cover has made it very difficult to get a good image of the ice coverage differences over Lake Superior; therefore, it was only possible to post the differences on Lake Michigan. Conditions will likely continue to be unfavorable to get a good view of Lake Superior over the next week as clouds are expected to linger through this time period.