Archives for December 2014

Lake Erie temperature at end of November was the coldest in decades

Lake Erie’s water temperature at the end of November fell to 40 degrees.

That’s the coldest Nov. 30 reading in Buffalo since 1976, when the lake temperature was 38 degrees.

Last winter, ice covered 92.5 percent of the Great Lakes – the most since 1979.

As of the middle of November, ice was already forming in some of the northern bays of Lake Superior. It’s the earliest the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Michigan has on record for ice.

Water temperatures on Lake Erie right now are very similar to what they were a year ago today.

Last year, the Nov. 30 water temperature of Lake Erie in Buffalo was 41 degrees, and ice began forming on the lake during the second week in December. By Dec. 12 – after an arctic blast and round of lake-effect snow – about 10 percent of Lake Erie was already covered in ice.

Scientists said the temperature was at a lake-low 34 degrees in shallow areas near Toledo and 38 degrees near the islands off of Ohio’s shore. Surface temperatures on the deeper eastern end of the lake near Buffalo ranged from 42 degrees to 44 degrees with the lake’s deepest waters still at 46 degrees to 48 degrees.

So, there’s still a ways to go before the lake freezes.