For people living along Lake Erie, there's a silver lining to the arctic cold gripping the region: a halt to lake-effect snow storms.
The Buffalo News reports that with the lake nearly fully covered in ice, the likelihood of lake-effect storms dumping large amounts of snow on western New York nearly disappears. It's the warmer, open waters of Lake Erie during winter months that lead to the types of snow storms that have buried parts of the region in recent weeks.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory says the lake is about 95 percent covered with ice.
Another upside to an ice-covered lake: More sunshine. The moisture from open water rises, creating the snow-laden clouds that block the sun.