Following a cold snap in the Northeast, Lake Erie's surface is virtually frozen over for the first time in about 14 years.
The ice ranges in thickness between paper thin along the northern shore and several inches along the southern shore, where many people are ice skating.
GoErie.com reports that the lake hasn't completely frozen since the winter of 1995-1996.
Although the ice cover is considered complete, prevailing winds have created some cracks in the ice.
There are also reportedly ice chunks floating off the coast of Dunkirk, N.Y., which is one of the deepest parts of the lake and would naturally be one of the last places to freeze.
Lake Erie, with an average depth of 62 feet, is the most shallow of the five Great Lakes, which is why it is the only one that completely freezes over.
Since lake-effect snow depends on warmer lake temperatures compared to the air, the frozen lake will deter large amounts of snowfall to the lee of the lake.
The current cold snap will keep the lake mostly, if not completely, frozen for at least the rest of the month.
Story by AccuWeather.com's Gina Cherundolo
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