The Great Lakes are already 22% covered in ice. On this day last year, it was 3%.

It is so cold that we are well-ahead of last year with ice coverage on Lake Michigan.

The Great Lakes know how you feel this winter.

As Michigan endures a deep freeze, with wind chills hitting double digits below zero this morning, our Great Lakes are facing an abnormal rate of ice coverage just several days into the new year.

Try these numbers on for size: The Great Lakes are already 21.99% covered in ice as of Jan. 4, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association's Great Lakes Coast Watch. On that day in 2017, they were 3.11% covered. On that day in 2016, they were 1.12% covered.

Here's how the numbers break down for each of the Great Lakes as of Jan. 4, along with Lake St. Clair:

Lake Superior: 8.63% ice coverage (On this day in 2017: 1.11%)

Lake Michigan: 20.92% (On this day in 2017: 3.64%)

Lake Huron: 30.18% (On this day in 2017: 5.88%)

Lake Erie: 59.38% (On this day in 2017: 4.16%)

Lake Ontario: 13.31% (On this day in 2017: 0.87%)

Lake St. Clair: 99.23% (On this day in 2017: 6.57%)

The extra ice buildup has already caused several snafus, grinding freighters to a halt and prompting a flood warning in parts of St. Clair and Macomb counties Thursday.

The deep freeze in Michigan is set to continue into the weekend, though temperatures begin warming up Sunday (a high of 24 degrees, according to weather.com) and into next week (high temperatures in the 30's).

© 2018 Detroit Free Press


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