Ice Expert Predicts Lake Superior Will Completely Freeze Over This Winter

Great Lakes iceCNS News – by Barbara Hollingsworth

Lake Superior hasn’t completely frozen over in two decades.

But an expert on Great Lakes ice says there’s a “very high likelihood” that the three-quadrillion-gallon lake will soon be totally covered with ice thanks to this winter’s record-breaking cold.

The ice cover on the largest freshwater lake in the world hit a 20-year record of 91 percent on Feb. 5, 1994.  

Jay Austin, associate professor at the Large Lakes Observatory in Duluth, Minn., told that he expects that record will be broken this winter when the most northern of the Great Lakes becomes totally shrouded in ice.

The thickness of the ice on Lake Superior “varies tremendously,” from a very thin sheet in some areas near the coast to several feet thick in other spots, Austin says. The  National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that the mean thickness of the lake ice is 26 cm, or a little over 10 inches.

Lake Superior ice thickness

Austin attributes the large amount of ice on the lake to the “extraordinary cold winter we’ve had,” pointing out that Duluth recently experienced an all-time record of 23 straight days of below-zero temperatures.

The previous record of 22 days was set in 1936 and tied in 1963, according to the National Weather Service.

Austin, who studies the effect of lake ice, predicts that it will have a “very strong influence” on the regional climate this summer, with the “air conditioning [lake] effect” more pronounced than usual.

“Typically, the lake will start warming up in late June, but it will be August before we see that this year,” Austin told

As of February 10th, ice covered 80.4 percent of all the Great Lakes, compared to 38.4 percent last winter, according to NOAA. That’s considerably higher than the lake’s long-term average of 51.4 percent under ice.

The record for maximum ice coverage of 94.7 percent was set in 1979. The lowest ice accumulation occurred in 2002, when just 9.5 percent of the surface of the Great Lakes was frozen solid.

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3 thoughts on “Ice Expert Predicts Lake Superior Will Completely Freeze Over This Winter

  1. Before all you climate change people get your shorts in a knot just remember what created the Great Lakes in the first place. A two mile high glacier moving down from Canada about 20 thousand years ago. So having one of the lakes freeze over is a complete joke in terms of Geology and earth time.

  2. Bahahahahaha!!!! Really? They call this news? The world is falling apart, chemical spills everywhere, war is about to break out, GMO’s, earthquakes, police state, disease, etc..but WAIT, Lake Superior is predicted to freeze over this winter! OH NO!!!! We’re all gonna die!!!

    OMG…… (Shaking my head in disgust) 🙄

    As if the Great Lakes have never been frozen before. Lake Erie freezes all the time. So now we are supposed to be afraid of ice?

    Enough with the global warming/climate change/arctic warming BULLSHIT!! This is a joke. Stop trying to make something out of nothing to enforce your bullshit propaganda of trying to make people afraid of anything and everything.

    What’s next? Being afraid of clouds in the sky or dew on the ground?

    How about we just show Steven King’s movie, “The Mist” over and over and tell everyone to be afraid of a little fog. I mean seriously. I’d tell you to go hide under a rock but then I’m thinking maybe you’ll be afraid that the rock will fall on you. Honestly, how the hell do sheeple survive in this world when their afraid of their own shadow?

  3. When I was young, living near Duluth, I read and heard about many people snowmobiling across the lake from the north shore to Wisconsin. New Years Eve parties were always in the bitter cold. This is all nothing new.

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