map map
Great Lakes ice cover reached 69.1% on Saturday. That's only the 2nd time that we have had that much ice cover on the Great Lakes in the last 24 years (the other time was 2014). This is quite a leap up since Feb. 1, when we had just a 22.6% ice cover. The growth of ice has been caused by consistently cold temperatures and relatively calm conditions.

The first 11 days of Feb. were 6.3 deg. colder than average in Grand Rapids, 7.3 deg. colder than avg. in Milwaukee and 8.0 deg. colder than average in Chicago. Over the last 6 days, the average wind speed at Muskegon MI and at Holland MI has been 6.1 mph. Note with all the snow we've had, there has been very little drifting. Last year on 2/11 we had a 12.3% ice cover and on 2/11/16 we had just a 7.8% ice cover on the Great Lakes.

Here's a Sun. PM pic. from Alpena, showing the gang out ice fishing. They're on the river side of breakwater, so the ice must be nice and thick.

pic ice
Here's a Lake Superior satellite pic. from Sun PM. Superior has a 77.1% ice cover. They have been relocating caribou from Michipicoten Island to several other islands to try and preserve the herd from wolves.

sat pic
This is a Sunday late aftn. satellite pic. of Lake Michigan showing the clearing line coming across the lake. You can see the ice in the lake.

ice pic
Here's sunset at the Muskegon Channel Sunday evening. We have now gained an hour of daylight in the evening since the 2nd week of December. The first 11 days of February brought Grand Rapids only 9.7% of possible sunshine, so the sun today (Mon.) will be most welcome.