The severe cold blanketing the Great Lakes could result in another cool spring in northeastern Illinois.
The Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory has found 85.4 percent of the Great Lakes were ice covered, compared to 85.2 percent on Feb. 18, 2014.
George Leshkevitch of the research laboratory says it's possible the below-average temperatures forecast for the next week could mean the lakes could approach last year's levels of 92.5 percent ice cover.
Leshkevitch says lake ice is usually gone by May. However, last year ice lingered into June. If that happens again, "we're likely to have a cool spring."
The National Weather Service's long-term forecast issued last week showed an above-average likelihood of a cold March in much of the Midwest, and an increased likelihood of a warmer-than-usual April, May and June.