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      A great night for ice-making!

      An analysis of ice coverage on the Great Lakes as of about 1pm today. (Photo courtesy of the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory.)

      As of this afternoon, 91.8% of the Great Lakes were covered with ice (see image 2).

      That figure is less than 3% away from the 1979 record of 94.7% ice cover!

      It's also a new record for March ice cover (the prior record was set on March 4, 1994 with 85.8%).

      For ice to form on the Great Lakes, cold temperatures and light winds are needed.

      It seems like the former has been in ample supply this winter, but not always the latter.

      Tonight, however, both ingredients will be present. This should allow for significant ice formation on the Great Lakes.

      We're forecasting a low of -2 in Mid-Michigan with light easterly winds becoming calm (see image 1).

      I checked the National Weather Service forecasts for a few areas along the southern shore of Lake Michigan, and they're predicting lows mainly in the single digits with light winds.

      That's plenty cold enough for ice to grow on the lake -- which is already more than 90% covered with ice.

      Will the ice formation be enough to beat the record set back in 1979? We should know tomorrow.

      And tomorrow could be our last chance at the record as conditions for further ice growth don't look ideal from Friday into next week.

      In fact, the prospect for higher temperatures and stronger winds may break up some of the ice over the next seven days.

      For a look at that milder extended forecast, just click on the video!