Great Lakes freeze is largest for nearly 20 years as U.S. is battered by most bitter winter since 1979

Saturday, February 8, 2014
By Paul Martin
8 February 2014

The Great Lakes – the world’s largest group of freshwater lakes – were 78.9 per cent covered by ice on February 6, according to an analysis by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Not since early 1996 has ice been so widespread on the Great Lakes, with the frigid winter pushing Lake Superior toward a complete ice over.

Lake Superior had ice across an estimated 91 percent of its surface as of Thursday, according to the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory.

The 40-year average annual Lake Superior ice coverage for February is just 30 percent.

George Leshkevich, who has been tracking Great Lakes ice for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory since 1973, said this winter has had among the most rapid ice buildups of his tenure.

Air temperatures show this is the coldest winter since 1979, according to Twin Cities.

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