In case there was any doubt about it, NASA has confirmed that "ice cover this spring is significantly above normal." And with "significantly" they actually mean "are you freaking kidding me?" When the Aqua satellite passed over Lake Superior on April 20, the lake was 63.5 percent ice covered. Last year it was at 3.6 percent. It's the worst year in more than three decades by a very wide margin.
Lake Superior had 3.6 percent ice cover on April 20, 2013; in 2012, ice was completely gone by April 12. In the last winter that ice cover grew so thick on Lake Superior (2009), it reached 93.7 percent on March 2 but was down to 6.7 percent by April 21.
This graphic shows the changes since 1981.
That's pretty crazy. NASA explains how this happened:
Average water temperatures on all of the Great Lakes have been rising over the past 30 to 40 years and ice cover has generally been shrinking. (Lake Superior ice was down about 79 percent since the 1970s.) But chilled by persistent polar air masses throughout the 2013-14 winter, ice cover reached 88.4 percent on February 13 and 92.2 percent on March 6, 2014, the second highest level in four decades of record-keeping.
Air temperatures in the Great Lakes region were well below normal for March, and the cool pattern is being reinforced along the coasts because the water is absorbing less sunlight and warming less than in typical spring conditions.
But now, at last, it's slowly melting. Ish. They should paint it black. Die ice, die! God I hated you winter. Go back to your cave and never return.