Deep Freeze

Seen From Space: Ice Covers 80 Percent of Great Lakes

Image: Great Lakes Covered in Ice
This image acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite on February 19, 2014 shows the Great Lakes in natural color in the early afternoon, when ice covered 80.3 percent of the lakes, according to NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. Ice cover on North America’s Great Lakes reached 88 percent in mid-February 2014, levels not observed since 1994. The average maximum ice extent since 1973 is just over 50 percent. It has surpassed 80 percent just five times in four decades. The lowest average ice extent occurred in 2002, when only 9.5 percent of the lakes froze. NASA

A deep freeze has settled in over the Great Lakes this winter and a new image released by NASA shows the astonishing extent of the ice cover as seen from space.

NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of the lakes on the early afternoon of Feb. 19. At the time, 80.3 percent of the five lakes were covered in ice, according to the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL), part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Earlier this month, ice cover over the Great Lakes hit 88 percent for the first time since 1994. Typically at its peak, the average ice cover is just over 50 percent, and it only occasionally passes 80 percent, according to NASA's Earth Observatory.

--Live Science