Great Lakes ice cover below normal for now
Our warmer-than-normal December here in Iowa also played out over the Great Lakes. As a result, ice cover has been below normal and lake effect snow will likely continue there over the next few weeks. Ice coverage last year at this time was about the same as it is now, then rapidly increased to around 90% coverage by the first week of March! This was due to the extreme weather pattern flip that occurred as stubborn cold air hung around.
Why do we care in Iowa? Great Lakes ice coverage above 70% in early March seems to loosely correlate with cooler March and April temperatures.