The Great Lakes are freezing over at a rapid rate. These are the numbers for ice cover for Jan. 23:
Lake Superior 57.2062%
Lake Michigan 37.7962%
Lake Huron 75.7721%
Lake Erie 94.8880%
Lake Ontario 42.9223%, the weighted average 60.02%
The forecast from NOAA was for 58 to 62% maximum ice-cover for 2014. We are already there with half the winter yet to go. The average for the last 40 years is a max. of 51.4%. See fig:
Here is a picture of the ice cover for Jan 23. Brr, and a new, longer lasting arctic blast is under way!! It will take a long time to melt all this ice come spring. It takes 80 calories to melt one gram of ice, but only twenty to heat it from zero to 20 degrees C (68 F) so you can take a dip.