The cold Canadian air that has moved south into the Great Lakes has caused a noticeable uptick in ice cover. The top picture from the MODIS satellite shows ice forming around the shore of the lake.
Here’s the Fri. PM Lake Michigan MODIS satellite pic. You can see the lake-effect clouds in West Michigan and you can see the ice that has formed near Chicago. Green Bay is mostly ice covered, but very deep Traverse Bay and Torch Lake are open water.
The pic. above is from the Chicago Water Intake, about 2.75 miles from shore. The surface is mostly ice, but it’s floating slush more than solid ice. Despite the sun, Chicago could only climb to a high of 15° after an early morning low of -2°, which was the coldest temp. of the winter so far.
Ice extent on Lake Michigan has increased to 13.8% and on Superior to 17.6%. Lake St. Clair is more than half ice covered now.
Strong south-southwest winds today will gust to 30 mph inland and 40 mph at Lake Michigan. That will cause waves to crank up to 6-11 feet and bring the threat of more erosion and lakeshore flooding.
Today will be breezy/windy with clouds moving in and snow likely during the afternoon/evening…Snowfall amounts from a trace to 2″ across the area. The wind may cause some drifting snow. Watch for slick spots on area roads when it’s snowing. Temperatures will rise through the 20s during the day.
Also – There’s a strong Polar Vortex, but it’s staying in the Arctic, not coming down here. The strong Polar Vortex has grown the Arctic Sea Icecap to a 10-year highest extent. Wind topples NYC wind turbine. Japan plans to build up to 22 new coal-burning power plants.