NEGAUNEE TWP. — It was just a few short weeks ago that winter seemed very tame in comparison with last year.
Then the jet stream sent a blast of arctic air down into the Upper Great Lakes region.
It was bitter cold last week, sapping the charge from car batteries. That cold continues this week, but, as with all things, it’s bound to end.
“We’ll get a little break here on Tuesday,” said Matt Zika, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Marquette, “but the winds are going to be stronger, which is going to make it feel just as cold, probably, as it’s been for a few days. The middle part of the week, Wednesday, we may not get above zero during the day, again. Thursday is going to be a very cold day, but there is some light, it appears, at the end of the tunnel where these persistent, really cold arctic shots are going to start to lessen by the end of the week.”
The temperature’s effect can be seen be observed in more than just cars that won’t start and increased heating bills. Before the deep freeze the Great Lakes were not on par to match last year’s ice cover.
“We’re at the point now where Lake Superior is nearly 95% ice coverage so far all intents and purposes the lake is frozen over,” Zika said. “If we go back and look in the record books it’s very difficult to find a back-to-back time period where the lake actually froze over two consecutive winters. If we look from just this date right now, where we were compared to last year, there’s actually a little more ice coverage on Lake Superior and in the Upper Great Lakes than there was at this particular point last year.”
While there is more ice coverage on Lake Superior the ice is not near as thick as it was last year.
That means, pending how cold March and April are, you probably won’t see any ice bergs or floes while tanning on the beach come June.