The Great Lakes are freezing over at a rapid rate. These are the numbers for the ice cover as of Feb. 4:
Lake Superior 91.6753%
Lake Michigan 56.3514%
Lake Huron 84.5919%
Lake Erie 92.6251%
Lake Ontario 30.7342%, the weighted average 76.93%
The forecast from NOAA was for 58 to 62% maximum ice-cover for 2014. We are already at the greatest ice cover since 1996 with a good part of the winter still left to go. The average for the last 40 years is an ice maximum of 51.4%. See fig:
Here is a picture of the ice cover for Feb 4. Brr, and arctic blasts keep coming!! 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.