ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM)- Back in January we examined how Great Lakes’ Ice Coverage was below normal. As we enter the end of February, Great Lake’s ice coverage is still below average.

As of February 22nd, 2023, according to the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory the Great Lakes total ice coverage is currently at 8.4%. On this day last year we were at 37.6% 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 February 22nd, was ice free at 0% and Lake Ontario is at 0.89%. The graphics below show how this compares to the historical average. The average for this date for Lake Ontario is closer to 20% and Lake Erie is approximately 70%.

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.