Lake Michigan freezes for the first time this winter - New York News

Lake Michigan freezes for the first time this winter

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“Frozen Belmont Harbor taken early afternoon 1/22/13.” Photo courtesy of johnpg0515. “Frozen Belmont Harbor taken early afternoon 1/22/13.” Photo courtesy of johnpg0515.
“Frozen Belmont Harbor taken early afternoon 1/22/13.” Photo courtesy of johnpg0515. “Frozen Belmont Harbor taken early afternoon 1/22/13.” Photo courtesy of johnpg0515.
“This is ice frozen over a rock on the Lake Michigan shoreline at Belmont taken early afternoon 1/22/13. The waves crashing over the rock repeatedly led to the ice freezing on it in this pattern.” Photo courtesy of johnpg0515. “This is ice frozen over a rock on the Lake Michigan shoreline at Belmont taken early afternoon 1/22/13. The waves crashing over the rock repeatedly led to the ice freezing on it in this pattern.” Photo courtesy of johnpg0515.
“If it isn’t going to snow this year, I'm just going to make it. That is my ice rink in the back and 80 Christmas trees I rescued from the garbage.” Photo courtesy of an anonymous FOX 32 viewer. “If it isn’t going to snow this year, I'm just going to make it. That is my ice rink in the back and 80 Christmas trees I rescued from the garbage.” Photo courtesy of an anonymous FOX 32 viewer.
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

For the first time this winter, parts of Lake Michigan is frozen, especially close to the lakefront and in the harbors. This happened only a couple of times ALL of last winter, and it's already Jan. 23.

Temperatures plummeted from the upper 40s to the lower teens by Sunday. In fact, the average high temperature so far this week is 13 degrees with an average low of 2.

So it's been cold enough for parts of the lake to freeze, but do not venture out there because the ice is definitely not thick enough. We would need a good week of temperatures like this for it to be safe enough to walk or play on.

Much of the Great Lakes are still too warm to freeze. According to NOAA, 2002 saw the least amount of ice coverage on record. Last year‘s ice coverage was very close to 2002 and 2013 is looking very similar as well.

Check out this NOAA image, which shows near historic low ice coverage.

Of course the other big story is the lack of snow this season. As of Wednesday, O'Hare has received only 1.3 " of snow and according to the National Weather Service, Chicago has never gone into February with less than 3.6" of snow. The winter season of 1943-44 produced only 3.6" of snow through January 31st. The 1943-44 winter season total still ended up with 24.0" of snow, but is only 63% of our normal seasonal snowfall.

The weather will remain chilly through Saturday with periods of light snow and light accumulations, but 40 degree temperatures and rain are in the forecast for the early part of next week.

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