Scientists Say Great Lakes Ice Could Mean Cool Spring | NBC Chicago

Scientists Say Great Lakes Ice Could Mean Cool Spring

If lake ice lingers into June again, Chicago is in for chilly spring weather once more



    Ice forms along the shore of Lake Michigan, Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, in Chicago. Temperatures have dipped to as low as -13 in parts of Illinois with wind chills forecast to fall to between 20 and 30 degrees below zero. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

    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.

    News breaks at inconvenient times.  Download the NBCChicago mobile app and have the news come to you. Watch live streaming newscasts, receive critical push notifications on the go and stay in touch with your city around the clock.