GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — January has been much warmer than usual, allowing very little ice on the Great Lakes to form yet this winter season.

Every single day so far this month has been at or above freezing, with less than an inch of snow accumulating so far.

Lake Michigan typically sees maximum ice coverage sometime in the first half of February.

Many of our recent winters have featured low lake ice early in the season. Last winter season also started on a slow note but saw a rapid acceleration towards the end of January with ice concentration climbing to the 34% range during the middle of February.

It’s not impossible for big jumps in ice concentration to occur. Very cold stretches of weather or shots of cold air from a polar vortex event can be enough to add on the ice at a fast pace. Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Ontario and Lake Erie are all also near record low for this time of year.

Lake Erie often sees erratic ice gains and losses through a winter season, so it is less remarkable that it is at a low currently.

Lake Superior’s low ice is more remarkable. It is the deepest Great Lake, but due to its far northerly location it usually is around 15% this time of year. As of now, it is sitting at 2.7%.

The last several winters have been slow to deliver on Great Lakes ice concentration. The last time Lake Michigan was able to top 50% ice concentration for the season was 2018-2019. You can see the last ten winters’ snow and ice amounts here.

A flip to colder weather is expected towards the end of January into early February. While the exact forecast is not set in stone, a lean towards colder than average is looking much more likely than continued warmth, a good sign for snow lovers.