ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM)- As we enter the end of January, Great Lake’s ice coverage is below average.

As of January, 19th, 2023, according to the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory the Great Lakes total ice coverage is currently at 3.2%. On this day last year we were at 11.4% for total ice coverage. The historical average peak coverage (which historically occurs in February) is 55%.

The lakes impacting us here in the Twin Tiers are specifically Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Lake Erie ice coverage as of January 19th, was at 2.87% and Lake Ontario is at 1.49%. The graphics below show how this compares to the historical average.

Lake effect snow is most prevalent from November to February. February is when we typically reach the peak ice concentration and the lakes become frozen over and this limits the amount of lake effect snow. The lack of ice currently will also help produce lake effect snow until the lake’s freeze over.