As of Feb. 13, the five Great Lakes were 88.4% ice covered, approaching the record of 95% set in February 1979. More recent observations put the overall total at 77.3% as of February 25. Lake Superior was almost 94% covered, Lake Huron 95%, Lake Erie almost 96%, Lake Michigan 81% and Lake Ontario, with its depth and the churn caused by Niagara Falls, at about 40%. These percentages will increase, perhaps to record-breaking levels with the reintroduction of Arctic air occurring now.
One of the benefits of extensive ice coverage on the lakes is the natural brake it puts on evaporation, which might be good news for lake levels, which reached historic lows a year ago.