How iced over is Lake Erie today? More than 90 percent - The Buffalo News

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How iced over is Lake Erie today? More than 90 percent

As of Tuesday, Lake Erie was 91 percent covered in ice, according to the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory data.

That figure is forecast to grow again today as temperatures as much as 10 degrees below average are expected today and tonight.

The current level of ice cover is the most so far in 2017-18, and well ahead of average, data shows.

Lake Erie's ice cover is ahead of schedule this winter. (NOAA)

When the lake gets fully covered by ice, it often dramatically reduces the amount of lake-effect snow that falls in Western New York off Lake Erie.

But, if this morning's commute is any indication, the region's not out of the woods yet.

"The ice on the lake is still fairly thin," said Dan Kelly, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service. "There are cracks in the ice, and you can transfer that moisture and that heat."

About 2 to 3 inches more snow is expected today, bringing the overall total to between 4 and 6 inches, despite the lake being more than 90 percent frozen.

 

Lake-effect snow, frigid temps make for slippery commute

This year's ice cover has already eclipsed the maximum ice coverage for an average year, according to data from the Great Lakes lab.

That usually comes on Feb. 18 when nearly 69 percent of the lake is covered in ice.

On average, about 39 percent of the lake is usually covered in ice by Jan. 16.

Last year, it was about 26 percent. And, in 2016, there was about 8 percent ice on the lake.

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