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Now That's Cold! 88 Percent of Great Lakes Covered With Ice

<p>It's been so bitterly cold that ice cover extended across 88 percent of the Great Lakes on Thursday.</p>
Image: U.S. Coast Guard yardstick measures ice in Straits of Mackinac on Feb. 5
In this Feb. 5, 2014 photo photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard a yardstick measures the thickness of some of the ice the crew of cutter Katmai Bay, background, battles during ice-breaking operations in the Straits of Mackinac. The icebreaker Mackinaw maintains a shipping lane on the Great Lakes which are almost completely covered with ice for the first time since 1994. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard, Lt. Michael Patterson)Lt. Michael Patterson, U.S. Coast Guard / AP

It's been so bitterly cold for so long in the Upper Midwest that 88 percent of the Great Lakes were covered with ice on Thursday, The Associated Press reported.

The last time they came this close was in 1994, when 94 percent of the lakes' surface was frozen, according to the federal government's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Mich.