Great Lakes ice cover was 12.3% on January 19, 2016. (Credit: NOAA / GLERL)
As of mid January, the percentage of ice cover on the Great Lakes had just crept over 10 percent, according to mlive. And scientists predict that there is little chance it will climb much higher over the rest of 2016.
The most ice cover that we will likely see, say researchers at the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, is about 31 percent. That peak is estimated to occur in late February or early March and then taper off into the warmer months.
Though the ice cover is lower than it has been the last few winters, it is not the lowest in recent years. That title belongs to the winter of 2012, when ice cover reached a measly 6.5 percent across the basin.
The El Niño weather phenomenon out of the Pacific Ocean is one of the primary causes of warmer temperatures in the Great Lakes region, scientists say. Another contributing factor is the North Atlantic Ocean’s multidecadal current oscillation.
Top image: Great Lakes ice cover was 12.3 percent on January 19, 2016. (Credit: NOAA / GLERL)