Lake Superior

General Discussions: ASK John: Lake Superior

By crispyknite on Monday, September 21, 2009 - 11:16 am: Edit Post

Farmer's Almanac calls for bitter and cold this year. So how much do you think that Lake Superior will freeze over and when was the last time it did? Thanks.

By admin on Monday, September 21, 2009 - 06:34 pm: Edit Post

Kind of hard for me to answer that as I would have to base it off of someone else's forecast. Plus, "bitter cold" is rather ambiguous and does not give actual numbers.

Last year the big lake reached about 80-85% ice cover the first week of March. Back in February 2003 it reached 98%.

I do not know if there is concrete evidence that it has ever froze over 100%, although there are lots of years it came close- like 2003.


By mezz on Thursday, September 24, 2009 - 04:41 pm: Edit Post

A little bit of trivia for you, which does come from the University of Minnesota Great Lakes Aquarium. In March of 2003, the lake had reached an ice cover of 90%. In 1996 it "froze over to nearly 100%. In 1994 96%, In 1972 95%. The last records of complete ice coverage on the big lake in 1979 & 1962". Take it from me, I do remember the winter of 1979 of which was & still is our record year for snowfall here in the Keweenaw. It was phenominal! Will we see that again? One never knows. Nice to dream tough, & with today's snowmobiles, it would indeed be an epic experience.-Mezz

By sledhd1 on Friday, September 25, 2009 - 12:01 am: Edit Post

I remember the winter of 78-79 it was my senior year of high school and we missed 22 days do to snow and that was here in Illinois

By snobuilder on Friday, September 25, 2009 - 08:04 am: Edit Post

When the Gitche Gumee freezes over it turns off the lake effect snow machine,right?

By mezz on Friday, September 25, 2009 - 10:03 am: Edit Post

sledhd, that was my senior year as well. The "Snow Day's" here were too many to count! Didn't bother me, I think I put on over 3,000 mi on my sled that year, & that was before groomed trails! snobuilder, yes, the LES is turned off when the ice covers, but that year it happened that we got pummeled with LES & system snow's. By the time the lake was capped, the system snow's continued. That was also a year of an epic April storm. Ahh, the fond memories!-Mezz

By crispyknite on Friday, September 25, 2009 - 10:40 am: Edit Post

Thanks All for the Info, Thats so cool. The last time I was on lake superior I almost drove into it with my sled. I had my skis over A ice berg about 8 to 10 feet down to the friged water. that was scarey.

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