Do the Great Lakes ever freeze over?

by Mike on March 19, 2010

Notwithstanding numerous reports to the contrary, the United States Geological Survey is of the opinion that none of the Great Lakes ever freezes over completely. This opinion is confirmed by the Detroit and Cleveland Navigation Company. Shallow regions along the shore are frequently covered with, ice. and sometimes: the, ice. extends, many miles [388] i toward the interior of the lakes. Navigation is generally stopped from early in December until about the first of April because of ice in and near harbors, at the’ ends of the lakes and in the channels connecting them. No data are available as to the proportion of lake surface frozen over during the various winters. Lake Erie is the shallowest of the Great Lakes and it is said that the eastern part of this lake has frozen over’ sufficiently for a man to walk over the ice from Erie, Pennsylvania, to Long Point in Ontario, Canada. There is a natural tendency, as the United States Weather Bureau points out, to exaggerate the proportion of surface covered with ice. In 1904,. when the ice was thicker than at any other time on record, very little open water was visible from the shores of Lake Superior, which is the largest, deepest, most northern and the coldest of the Great Lakes. No water could be seen from the shores of Lake Ontario during the latter part of January of the same year. This, however, does not prove that the entire lake surface was frozen over. The lakes are so large that open water might be invisible from the shores even if only one-fourth of the surface were covered with ice. Observers in airplanes report large stretches of unfrozen water in the lakes even during winters when people along the shores are under the impression that the lakes are completely frozen over,

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