Lake Superior Ice Cover

Over the past two years, Lake Superior has experienced very little in the way of ice cover.  This has been due in large part to the lack of cold arctic air flowing into the Great Lakes Region causing above normal temperaturesHowever, this year, with recent colder than normal temperatures, ice has been fast to form on Lake Superior.  Check out how the latest modis/sattelite image compares to the median ice coverage for the first week in Februrary.

Below is the latest Satellite image for February 4, 2013 taken from the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Studies (CIMSS).  This image has had a color enhancement that helps to better identify ice features. The bright light blue color shows where ice has formed both inland as well as within the Great Lakes. Some other features to note are the lake enhanced clouds that have set up in a Northwest to Southeast oriented direction based on northwest winds flowing across the lake.  This has caused snow showers across the western and far eastern shorelines of Upper Michigan and western Lower Michigan.  A more prominent band of cloud cover extends from southern Wisconsin to southern Lower Michigan, where more widespread light snow is currently occuring.

 

Comparing the current ice cover (above) to the graphic of Median (Average) Ice Coverage for Februrary 1-7, it seems as though we are are matching up quite well. 

 

More so, if we stay on this same track of artic air and cold (normal to below normal) temperatures, this next map is a prediction of what we may see by the same time next month. If this is the case, this will be the most ice Lake Superior has seen since 2009.  Since that point, Lake Superior has been well below normal for ice cover.  Could this be the year we break the trend?



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