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Unprecedented Lack of Ice Coverage on Lake Erie Sparks Erosion Concerns

A recent article from WTOL 11 delves into the surprising absence of ice coverage on Lake Erie during early January, shedding light on the implications of atypically low ice levels across the Great Lakes. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's data reveals a startling revelation: Lake Erie's ice coverage currently stands at a clean zero percent.

The Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, operating under NOAA, has been diligently tracking ice coverage since 1973. The data indicates that Lake Erie, known for being the fastest to freeze due to its shallow depth, typically boasts a higher percentage of ice coverage compared to other Great Lakes. However, this year, the region experienced a warmer-than-usual December, hindering the lakes' opportunity to freeze over.

Since November 25, 2023, Lake Erie has seen a maximum of only 0.04 percent ice coverage, measured on December 22, 2023. As of January 9, 2024, the entire lake is devoid of ice. Climatologists attribute this decline to milder winters, a trend observed not only in Lake Erie but across all the Great Lakes.

Historical data reveals that, on average, Lake Erie should have approximately 28.82% ice cover by January 9. However, this year, with zero percent coverage, the lake is significantly behind the average. It's worth noting that early January conditions do not necessarily dictate the overall ice coverage for the entire season. In 2019, despite a slow start, the lake witnessed substantial ice coverage, reaching 81% after a mid-January cold snap.

The WTOL 11 Weather Team forecasts a shift towards bitterly cold conditions in the coming week, with temperatures expected to drop into the teens and possibly below zero. This could lead to increased ice coverage on Lake Erie and other Great Lakes. However, the duration of this coverage will depend on larger climatological patterns.

As described in our two previous articles, we know that the lack of ice coverage can lead to the expedited erosion of your shoreline. Call us today for a custom solution and a free quote at 440-277-6500!


The information in this blog post is summarized from the article on WTOL's website. To read the full article, please visit WTOL Article.

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