Has Lake Michigan ever completely frozen over?

Ask Tom Why?
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Dear Tom,
Has Lake Michigan ever completely frozen over? Do you think it ever will?
— Dan Duewerth

Dear Dan,
It has not, but it’s possible in a winter when severe cold envelops the north and central Midwest. Wave action and wind, combined with the vast reservoir of heat contained in the lake, have so far prevented complete freezing.

Ice formation on Lake Michigan usually begins in January and reaches its peak in late February or early March. Data provided by Environment Canada and the U.S. National Weather Service indicate that ice coverage on Lake Michigan reached 90 to 95 percent in the winters of 1903-04, 1976-77, 1978-79 and 2013-14.

Lakes Superior, Huron and Erie have frozen over in a few harsh winters since 1900, but Michigan and Ontario have never attained complete ice coverage.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Popular

Latest News

More News