Through Thursday, Great Lakes ice cover continued its historic expansion – covering more than 92 percent of the water’s surface, the most on record in March and so late in the winter.

The lake ice extent is second most for any month in records dating back to 1973. Only February of 1979 had more ice, when 94.76 percent of the Lakes were covered.

Brian Jackson, an analyst at NOAA’s National Ice Center, believes the ice extent has peaked.

“It should begin to decline today as new ice is no longer forming in the leads as they open up,” Jackson said. “And temps are expected in the 40s along southern Lake Michigan and the upper 30s along Erie and Ontario. Combine that with the sun and my feeling is that it’s going to decline.”

Check out the views of the ice below, they are stunning…

Satellite views, and ice cover percentages (as of March 6)

Lake Superior, 94.5 percent covered (record 100 percent, 1996)

Lake Michigan, 92.19 percent covered (record 93.1 percent, 1977)

Lake Huron, 96.30  percent covered (record 98.3 percent, 1994)

Lake Erie, 96.40 percent covered (record 100 percent, 1978, 1979, 1996)

Lake Ontario, 61.52 percent covered (record 85.7 percent, 1979)

Link: Why won’t Lake Ontario freeze over? (Gawker – The Vane)

Sky and ground views