Lots of Attention for Lake Superior

This year Lake Superior is receiving a lot of attention. From precipitation to water level to the amount of ice cover and the Apostle Island area ice cave adventures have been constant themes in blogs and news reports almost all winter long.

I still haven’t been to the ice caves even though I was in the parking lot ready to go one day. A friend of mine and I wimped out due to the negative something below wind chill and negative something below actual temperature. I know it’s hard to believe I just admitted that I wimped out of something, that isn’t normally the case. I don’t usually wimp out and I doubt I’ve ever admitted it.  In any case I didn’t go and it doesn’t seem likely that I’ll make it out there before the ice deteriorates. My loss, but with the thousands of visitors going on weekends and the number of photos posted of it I hardly feel it necessary.

I do feel it necessary to share some information about Lake Superior with you.  I read an article about the ice coverage and found this interesting.

“…on Feb. 19th ice spanned 80.3 percent of the lakes, according to NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Mich.   The ice reached an even greater extent on Feb. 13, when it covered about 88 percent of the Great Lakes – coverage not achieved since 1994, when ice spanned over 90 percent. In addition to this year, ice has covered more than 80 percent of the lakes in only five other years since 1973. The average annual maximum ice extent in that time period is just over 50 percent. The smallest maximum ice cover occurred in 2002, when only 9.5 percent of the lakes froze over.”

Ice Coverage on the Great Lakes

Lake Superior ice coverage

Something else I found interesting about Lake Superior is the fact it is at it’s normal water level for the first time in 9 years.  It and the other great lakes have been at historically low levels for years now but Lake Superior is back on track. Most likely due to the amount of precipitation and snow we’ve received as well as the ice coverage that has prevented evaporation which normally occurs when there is no ice.
“…Lake Superior now sits 13 inches above the level of March 1, 2013, and appears to be continuing an upward trend that started about one year ago. The lake has now pulled far away from its lowest points, when it hit monthly record lows in August and September 2007.

The last time the lake’s water level was at or above normal was April 2005, said Cynthia Jarema of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Detroit District.”  http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/292713/group/homepage/

That is good news for our Great Lake Superior.

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