The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

'Cooler By The Lake' May Have New Meaning This Year

By JoshMogerman in News on May 4, 2014 4:00PM

Just A Perfect Day (on Lake Michigan) [SeƱor Codo]

Even after this stubbornly lingering winter passes, we will be feeling its legacy as a super-chilled Lake Michigan exerts itself on Chicago.

In a normal year, the big cooled waters of the Lake have an air conditioning effect on portions of the city as it slowly warms.

But this year, with unprecedented ice covering the Great Lakes—a nearly unheard of 26 percent of the Lakes’ surface remained frozen this week— and ice waves pummeling houses on the Michigan shore, researchers expect an outsized impact keeping temperatures lower around the region through the fall.

Forget the Hawk; Lake ice is going to put the eagle on temperatures long after its gone and “Cooler by the Lake” will be Tom Skilling’s mantra the rest of the year. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

A good impact of the ice comes in the form of higher lake levels. Less evaporation from winter winds whipping across the waters’ surface and all that melting have raised the lake significantly.

That is key, when you consider that not long ago Lake Michigan was so low that the locks by Navy Pier and on the Southeast Side had to be kept closed to prevent the Chicago River from re-reversing itself and flowing backwards. (Water goes downhill, after all).

Don’t get too psyched though: the lake is projected to be down a foot from where it should be.