Image of the Day: Superior View of Ice & Snow

The lack of ice coverage present just days ago on the largest of the Great Lakes, Lake Superior. Satellite photos show that only 5 percent of the Great Lakes' surface has frozen over this year and according to a report published last month in the Journal of Climate, the average amount of ice covering the lakes declined by 71 percent since 1973, with Lake Superior's coverage alone declining a whopping 79 percent during this period. The lead author of the report, Jia Wang, attributes the reduction to several factors including climate change and the more cyclical El Niño and La Niña climate patterns.

Though the image shows signs of snow on the ground, the record-shattering heat wave that has set more than 2,200 warm temperature records from the Upper Midwest to the Northeast this month has melted most of it by now.

Credit: NOAA Great Lakes CoastWatch Node