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Great Lakes’ warming has wintertime domino effect

Warmer lake temperatures can produce more lake effect snow

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Lake Michigan’s Green Bay is seen from an ice-covered dock in Ephraim
Despite chilly temperatures, Door County has become an attractive destination for tourists and part-time residents looking to escape the city during the pandemic. Here, Lake Michigan’s Green Bay is seen from an ice-covered dock in Ephraim, Wis., on March 31, 2020. Coburn Dukehart/Wisconsin Watch

Winter is just around the corner, but experts say the Great Lakes haven’t gotten the message.

The Chicago Tribune reported that summer and fall evenings failed to cool down sufficiently. So Great Lakes surface temperatures are trending above average.

It’s an example of climate change. Record- or near-record warm spells in Minnesota, Wisconsin, New York and Illinois set up a domino effect.

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Warmer lake temperatures can produce more lake effect snow.

Snow diminishes with the onset of ice, which itself is delayed. Ice helps deter shoreline erosion. And warmer water temperatures year-round can invite invasive species or harmful algae blooms, even in water as deep at the Great Lakes’.

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