Great Lakes ice coverage reaches 84 percent

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February has been anything but kind to Chicago, and for much of the eastern half of the country.

Coming into February, much of the Great Lakes, except for Lake Erie, had less than 50 percent ice coverage.

As of February 25, the Great Lakes ice coverage stands at 84 percent. This is the 2nd straight year that the Great Lakes have topped 80 percent. The last time this happened was the late 1970's.

The Great Lakes, at this time last year, were 70 percent covered in ice. When this much ice remains on the lakes, March tend to be cooler than normal.

March of 2014 had an average temperature of 31.7 degrees, which is -6.2 degrees colder than normal along with 12.3 inches of snow.

The outlook for March, according to the Climate Prediction Center, is cooler than normal temperatures with near normal precipitation.

However, the longer range forecast for the months April, May, and June are expected to be warmer than normal.

And with February going down as possibly the coldest on record, we could use a warm spring. Fingers crossed!