Lake Michigan almost froze in the Winter of 1993-94

Dear Tom,

In the winter of 1991-92, I recall some very low temperatures and Lake Michigan came very close to freezing over. Details?

Thanks,
Larry Schnur
Evanston

Dear Larry,

Wave action and wind, combined with the vast reservoir of heat contained in Lake Michigan, have so far prevented it from completely freezing over, but it has come close in several winters. However, the winter of 1991-92 was not one of them and you are probably remembering the winter of 1993-94. That winter, the lake achieved maximum ice coverage of more than 95 percent following some incredibly cold weather in January and February. In Chicago, those months produced a total of 17 subzero days that included an eight-day January stretch with subzero low temperatures; seven of them minus 10 or lower. January averaged nearly eight degrees below normal and February nearly six.

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