How does ice coverage on Lake Superior this year compare to last year?
The following satellite image was taken on Febuary 1, 2010. The image shows low level lake effect clouds over the eastern half of Lake Superior, and upper level clouds over western and central Lake Superior. What's significant about this image is that through the clouds, the lake appears to be mostly ice free.
Lake Superior ice coverage is much less than this time last year. The following image, taken on Feb 6, 2009, shows a much larger area of ice in Lake Superior.
Now the question is whether this year is significantly behind normal for ice coverage, or if last year had significantly more ice than normal. The following image is a stistical analysis of Ice cover for the Great Lakes, showing average ice cover for the week of Feb 1-7. Comparing the images shows that ice coverage on Lake Superior is behind normal for this year, and also that ice coverage last year was significantly above normal. Ice coverage, on average, peaks in early March for Lake Superior.