BREAKING NEWS : Fort Wayne Police searching for missing 12-year-old boy Full Story
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Weather Blog: Ice to rapidly develop across the Great Lakes

After what has been a fairly mild winter, colder air will be settling in for the long haul which will allow for more ice to develop across the Great Lakes.

Posted: Feb 4, 2021 11:43 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — It’s been a fairly mild winter until recently.

Just a little over a week ago, ice coverage across the Great Lakes was at a record low.

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER

Download the FOX 55 Severe Weather Center App on Apple

Download the FOX 55 Severe Weather Center App on Android 

The average ice cover for the lakes in January 2021 was 4.4% which was behind the record of 4.08% set in January 2002.

Both Lake Superior and Lake Michigan recorded near-record low ice cover for the month.

We have turned the page to February and ice is finally beginning to form across the Great Lakes.

With the recent cold, the ice cover has increased from 3.9% reported on January 20, 2021 to 11.5% on February 3, 2021.

Ice coverage is nearing average for this time of the year and the cold is expected to last well into the middle of February.

The frigid temperatures in the coming weeks will help the lakes to freeze over.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the ice cover is expected to be at 30% in late February which could be the peak for the season.

Historically, ice coverage usually reaches 30% across the Great Lake by the end of January and it peaks at about 42% in late February.

According to NOAA, the average maximum ice coverage is 53.3% and below is a list of predicted maximum ice coverage for the 2021 season.

  • Lake Superior – 31% (Normal average is 61.5%)
  • Lake Michigan – 22% (Normal average is 40%)
  • Lake Huron – 41% (Normal average is 64.6%)
  • Lake Ontario – 7% (Normal average is 29.8%)
  • Lake Erie – 58% (Normal average is 81.2%)

According to NOAA, these predictions can change since they are based upon the latest surface-air temperature data.

Regardless, below average ice cover is expected for the 2021 season which means more clouds and more lake effect snow chances.
Believe it or not, this is a similar pattern to this time in 2020.

Lake Erie, which is the shallowest lake, is usually frozen over by now but water temperatures are running in the low to mid 30s and it is only 13.2% frozen.

Lake Michigan is averaging a water temperature of 40 degrees and it is only 12.9% ice covered.

The ice thickness has increased from Escanaba to Green Bay and also shallow areas along the shoreline.

Ice coverage will increase in the coming days as some of the coldest air of the season spills in over the weekend.

This will park highs in the single digits and teens over the next few days which will help to cool water temperatures and aid in ice formation.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 749097

Reported Deaths: 13745
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1030271775
Lake554211006
Allen41613691
St. Joseph36933564
Hamilton36505416
Elkhart29347459
Tippecanoe22849225
Vanderburgh22540400
Porter19313325
Johnson18386387
Hendricks17583317
Clark13190193
Madison13111344
Vigo12602253
LaPorte12385221
Monroe12152175
Delaware10947197
Howard10250225
Kosciusko9609119
Hancock8541144
Bartholomew8158157
Warrick7854156
Floyd7763180
Grant7227179
Wayne7154201
Boone6911103
Morgan6735141
Dubois6211118
Marshall6205116
Cass5989108
Henry5893108
Dearborn588878
Noble579786
Jackson508374
Shelby500697
Lawrence4727121
Gibson444093
Harrison440473
Clinton439855
DeKalb438585
Montgomery433890
Whitley405642
Huntington402181
Steuben398659
Miami392568
Jasper386254
Knox375690
Putnam371860
Wabash360583
Ripley346470
Adams344955
Jefferson335685
White329753
Daviess3028100
Wells294881
Decatur289992
Greene286385
Fayette284664
Posey273735
LaGrange272872
Scott269855
Clay265448
Randolph244683
Washington244534
Jennings235149
Spencer234131
Starke227558
Fountain218347
Sullivan213943
Owen210858
Fulton201542
Jay200832
Carroll193420
Orange188055
Perry186937
Rush175626
Vermillion173544
Franklin170135
Tipton165746
Parke148916
Pike137934
Blackford136032
Pulaski120047
Newton112636
Brown103943
Crawford102316
Benton100814
Martin91415
Warren83515
Switzerland8098
Union72810
Ohio57811
Unassigned0421

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1107047

Reported Deaths: 20091
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1284921459
Cuyahoga1155972204
Hamilton812991245
Montgomery524821040
Summit48339999
Lucas43303817
Butler38901603
Stark33286929
Lorain25641502
Warren24557303
Mahoning22330601
Lake21135385
Clermont20097252
Delaware18817135
Licking16645222
Fairfield16561204
Trumbull16522479
Medina15593270
Greene15252246
Clark14219306
Wood13280197
Portage13226214
Allen11905239
Richland11598211
Miami10835223
Wayne9116222
Columbiana9020230
Muskingum8889135
Pickaway8649122
Marion8635138
Tuscarawas8633247
Erie8052164
Ashtabula7137179
Hancock6996131
Ross6933161
Geauga6832150
Scioto6528104
Belmont6149174
Union583849
Lawrence5722102
Jefferson5669158
Huron5539122
Sandusky5436125
Darke5415129
Seneca5343126
Washington5308109
Athens523360
Auglaize501587
Mercer487385
Shelby476195
Knox4567112
Madison443765
Ashland435197
Putnam4333103
Fulton431871
Defiance431798
Crawford4033110
Brown401961
Logan387277
Preble3847103
Clinton378466
Ottawa372681
Highland359265
Williams347578
Champaign343658
Guernsey324153
Jackson317354
Perry297150
Morrow291340
Fayette285450
Hardin274865
Henry273267
Holmes2698101
Coshocton268359
Van Wert247264
Adams242856
Pike242735
Gallia240450
Wyandot234556
Hocking220162
Carroll196748
Paulding176342
Meigs148240
Monroe136144
Noble135839
Harrison113638
Morgan109624
Vinton85417
Unassigned03
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 66°
Angola
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 63°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
67° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 67°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 66°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
62° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 62°
Tuesday is another mostly sunny and comfortable day with a small chance of a stray afternoon shower or sprinkle.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events