GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (Feb. 12, 2014) — Total ice coverage across all five Great Lakes is at 87.1 percent. The last time we saw levels that high was 20 years ago in 1994.
Lake Michigan ice coverage is currently at 78.5 percent. The long-term ice average across all the Great Lakes is about 51 percent. We can thank the extensive winter temperatures, Arctic outbreaks, polar plunges, and no chance to thaw over the past few months.
We had the chance to venture out on the Grand Haven pier with public safety officers. What we found was ice as far as the eye could see on Lake Michigan, place a hefty build up of both snow and ice all the pier and boardwalk. In fact, ice on the lighthouse at the end of the structure as our photo shows is more than a foot thick.
Some fishermen have estimated the ice thickness anywhere from four to 16 inches thick. In fact, one die-hard ice fisherman could be found this week about 250 yards to the southwest of the pier on the icy lake.
While the ice concentration on the Great Lakes is quite impressive, we can only hope for a slow thaw to prevent massive ice jams and significant flooding in the months to come.