How cold has it been? Cold enough to leave 91 percent of the Great Lakes frozen.
That’s the second most amount of ice cover since we started tracking ice in the Great Lakes in 1973. The 91 percent threshold surpasses 90.7 percent in 1994 and falls just short of 94.7 percent in 1979.
The eastern two-thirds of the U.S., especially the Northern Plains and Midwest, have experienced one of the coldest winters in recent history. These areas have experienced multiple arctic outbreaks that dropped temperatures twenty to thirty degrees colder than average.
This helps to explain why the Great Lakes have become mostly ice this winter.
There’s hope and warmer air right around the corner for everyone who’s sick of the cold. Temperatures are climbing this week and through the weekend, and by Monday next week, most of the country will be experiencing temperatures at or above average.
This round of warmer air won’t stick around for good, though. Most of us still have a long, hard climb out of winter filled with more ups and downs. But from here on out, the downs won’t be as drastic.