With southern Michigan engulfed in another winter storm, the Great Lakes have crossed the halfway point in ice concentration. Combined, they are 54.36 percent covered in ice as of Thursday, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association's Great Lakes Coast Watch.
That's the highest ice concentration total on Feb. 8 of a Michigan winter since 2014, when the Great Lakes were 77.97 percent covered in ice. (You might recall that was the winter of the great "snowpocalypse," which the National Weather Service in Gaylord pointed out this morning). Later that year, in March, the Great Lakes nearly froze over, reaching a staggering 92.19 percent ice coverage.
In 2017, the ice coverage was 15.28 percent. In 2016, it was 4.71 percent.
Here's the breakdown of each of the Great Lakes in ice coverage this year (along with Lake St. Clair), compared to 2017 on the same date:
Lake Superior: 55.63 percent ice coverage (On this day in 2017: 6.97 percent)
Lake Michigan: 38.97 percent (On this day in 2017: 17.29 percent)
Lake Huron: 63.73 percent (On this day in 2017: 19.72 percent)
Lake Erie: 90.42 percent (On this day in 2017: 35.52 percent)
Lake Ontario: 16.38 percent (On this day in 2017: 6.21 percent)
Lake St. Clair: 99.23 percent (On this day in 2017: 92.08 percent)
The excessive ice coverage this year has already wreaked havoc for Michiganders across the state, even grinding freighters to a halt.