MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- For the second year in a row, the amount of ice on the Great Lakes is exceptional. That could mean another cool spring and possibly summer.
Right now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says the Great Lakes are more than 85 percent covered in ice.
"We're seeing abnormally high ice cover here, this time of year, here into late February, rivaled only really by last year's ice cover, over the past 20 or 30 years, or so," said Clark Evans, assistant professor and program coordinator for the Atmospheric Science Program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Evans explains, the ice cover could be critical in helping determine what kind of weather awaits us.
"Areas like Milwaukee and Kenosha, Racine, Sheboygan, Port Washington may see really cool temperatures -- on some days, all the way through spring. Whereas, you get 20, 30 miles in toward Waukesha and especially out toward Madison, you'll see much warmer conditions," said Evans.
Evans said this could have an impact on where beach goers end up in 2015.
"Do we want to go to Bradford Beach -- or do we not want to go to Bradford Beach? Well, it might be really cold near Bradford Beach. Maybe we go to an inland lake if we're looking for a beach," said Evans.
Evans says the ice cover could also bring about some benefits. If Lake Michigan's icy cold conditions continue, they have give way to consistently cooler temperatures -- which may protect this area's apple crops from budding and then freezing -- which can lead to crop destruction.