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The effects of Lake Michigan ice on West Michigan's summer

MICHIGAN (NEWSCHANNEL 3) Even though we are well into spring, huge chunks of ice still cover Lake Michigan, and that will likely be the trend into summer.

Newschannel 3s Stacia Mullaney went out to find the experts who could break down what that means for summer temperatures.

The National Weather Service says it will be noticeably cooler than average over the summer, in fact they say that it could be like the temperatures we had in July of 2009.

As we move away from the brutal winter and begin looking towards summer, it seems that Lake Michigan isnt so ready.

Through Mark we were at over 80 percent ice coverage, said TJ Turnage, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, which is rare, that doesnt happen very often.

Experts say that Lake Michigan currently has three times the record for ice coverage at this time of year.

Ice got very thick in a lot of places and we really havent had any significant warm up since then, said Turnage. So it took a while to grow the ice and it will take a while to get rid of it too.

So if youve been looking forward to a hot summer, thats bad news.

It strongly suggests that well be significantly cooler than normal for the summer, said Turnage.

The National Weather Service says well likely have an El Nio summer, meaning warmer than average temperatures in the west causing cooler than average temperatures here.

If you take a rope or something and kinda yank on it, you create these downstream ripples, said Turnage.

But its not all bad news; experts say the ice could actually make Lake Michigan temperatures warmer.

Its like a blanket and the other thing that happens too is you have less evaporation so your lake levels could end up higher than they would be, said Turnage.

Good news for the lake if its ever warm enough to get in it.

Experts say the ice on Lake Michigan should be gone by next month, but they say ice could stick around on Lake Superior until June.