CHICAGO (AP) - This
winterís bitter cold temperatures in the Midwest have covered a stunning 79
percent of the Great Lakes in ice.
Thatís not a
record, but itís well above the long-term average of about 51 percent.
Lake Michigan is
about 63 percent frozen. And the largest lake in the system, Huron, is about
85 percent covered.
Lake Erie, at 93
percent, had the most ice cover as of Saturday.
The data comes from
the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory.
It tracks the ice
cover because of its potential impacts on everything from hydropower
generation to commercial shipping and fishing.
Studying the ice
cover also helps determine climate patterns and water levels.