Lake Michigan Has Frozen Over, and It's an Incredible Sight

Scott Olson, Getty Images
Scott Olson, Getty Images

A polar vortex has brought deadly temperatures to the Midwest this week, and the weather is having a dramatic effect on one of the region's most famous features. As the Detroit Free Press reports, parts of Lake Michigan have frozen over, and the ice coverage continues to grow.

The Lake Michigan ice extent has increased rapidly throughout January, starting around 1 percent on the first of the month and expanding to close to 40 percent by the end of the month. Yesterday was the coldest January 30 in Chicago history, with temperatures at O'Hare Airport dropping to -23°F. Even though it's frozen, steam can be seen rising off Lake Michigan—something that happens when the air above the lake is significantly colder than the surface. You can watch a stream of this happening from a live cam below.

Lake Michigan's ice coverage is impressive, as these pictures show, but it's still far from breaking a record. Though Lake Michigan has never frozen over completely, it came close during the winter of 1993 to 1994 when ice reached 95 percent coverage.

Midwestern states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana aren't the only places that have been hit hard by the cold this winter. At the United States/Canada border, Niagara Falls froze to a stop in some spots, a phenomenon that also produced some stunning photographs.


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[h/t Detroit Free Press]

The One-Day Record Snowfalls In Each State

Greenseas/iStock via Getty Images
Greenseas/iStock via Getty Images

Long after you’ve grown out of believing in magic, every thick, whirling snowstorm still seems to have been cast upon your town by a winter warlock (or Frozen’s resident ice queen, Elsa).

It’s also pretty magical when those inches of stacked snowflakes add up to a message from your manager telling you not to come into the office. In southern states like Georgia or Florida, sometimes all it takes is a light dusting.

But even those characteristically balmy places have hosted some serious snowstorms over the years, and David Cusick for House Method crunched the numbers to find out which ones made the record books. Using data from the National Centers for Environmental Information, Cusick created a map showing the one-day record snowfall for each state.

Florida finished in last place with a scant total of 4 inches, which occurred in Santa Rosa County on March 6, 1954. About two years before that, on January 14, 1952, Colorado had a staggering 76 inches—that’s more than 3 inches per hour—a national record that’s remained unchallenged for nearly 70 years.

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But other states have come close. The snowstorm that hit Colorado in 1952 wreaked almost as much havoc in California, whose record from the same day was 75 inches. And Washington saw 70 inches of snow in November 1955, beating its 52-inch record from 1935 by a full 18 inches.

Though Midwestern states have gained a reputation for harsh, snowy winters, their one-day record snowfalls are surprisingly moderate. The Illinois and Indiana records are 24 and 26 inches, respectively, both slightly lower than Ohio’s 30-inch snow day from 1901. In 1993, North Carolina bested Ohio’s record by 6 inches.

Wondering how your individual county’s record compares to the overall state one? Cusick created a map for that, too, which you can explore below.

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[h/t House Method]

Gorgeous Timelapse Shows What a Year in Vermont Looks Like in Two Minutes

Kirkikis/iStock via Getty Images
Kirkikis/iStock via Getty Images

If you live in a state with a middling climate where seasonal changes are mostly just the difference between warm and cool breezes, you might not fully understand the impulse to take a photo of your front yard every single week for an entire year.

If you live in New England, on the other hand, you can probably identify with Jennifer Hannux, a Vermont resident who did just that. Then, she edited the 52 photos into one glorious, two-minute-long timelapse and posted it on Twitter.

Hannux, whose Twitter handle is @VermontJen, took the photos from her front porch, which overlooks a sometimes-grassy, sometimes-snowy clearing that leads into an expansive forest with Mount Ascutney visible beyond it.

The video features lush summer greenery, ethereal snowscapes, vibrant fall foliage, and just about every sunrise color you can imagine. Overall, it’s a breathtaking homage to Vermont’s natural beauty, and a pretty compelling reason to consider relocating to New England’s least-populated state. It’s good timing for that, too, since Vermont’s government just launched a program that could pay you up to $7500 for becoming a full-time resident and employee in the Green Mountain State.

This is far from Hannux’s first foray into landscape photography—according to NECN, she posted a similar (albeit snowier) timelapse of images taken from her front porch in 2018. She also runs a photography business called Northeast Kingdom Photography, which you can check out here.

[h/t NECN]

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