89.1 WEMU

Great Lakes Unlikely to Set Ice Record, Ice Not Expected to Have Lasting Impact on Weather

Mar 11, 2014

The Great Lakes pushed within a couple of points from setting a new record for the percent of frozen surface.  The 95 percent frozen mark set a record in 1979, now appears to be safe, and a University of Michigan scientist doesn’t believe there will be lasting weather impacts from the large amounts of ice, either. 

Frank Marsik is with the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences.  Marsik thinks while heavily frozen the lakes lose their moderating impact on temperatures in Michigan, so the state has likely been cooler in recent weeks than normal.

Frozen Lake Michigan just south of Holland, MI last weekend.
Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Marsik does believe there could be some small impacts in the early spring.

Marsik also notes the heavy snowfall could leave a wetter than normal soil.  He says this means more of the suns energy will be used in evaporation than increasing temperatures until the ground dries.

— Andrew Cluley is the Ann Arbor beat reporter, and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him acluley@emich.edu.