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MARQUETTE – It’s no surprise, severe cold temperatures have made themselves known here in the U.P. over the last week.

With temperatures well below freezing point, ice has formed and made slippery conditions on roads and bodies of water. But just how much ice has formed?

“If we go back three weeks ago and look at the amount of ice coverage there was near the Lake Superior shoreline or any of the larger Great Lakes, it was very limited to where we are,” said Matt Zika, Meteorologist with the National Weather Service of Marquette. “Now we’re seeing pretty large, expanse of ice along the shorelines of Lake Superior and out into the lake.”

Ice shelves are platforms of ice that form along the shoreline of great bodies of water. Though they may look very inviting, what lies underneath should make you think twice. One wrong step and you can find yourself trapped in freezing, flowing water.

“With that flowing water, the ice is always moving around and there’s a lot of weak areas in that ice,” says Zika. “It’s not something that we would ever recommend for folks to be out exploring on those ice shelves because one wrong step or one thin spot and there is no way for you to get yourself out of those situations if you were to go into the lake at that point.”

“I think it’s just best to stay off of it,” said Captain Mike Laurila, Marquette City Police Department. “Again that ice- one day it can be in, the next day it could be out. With the currents and the winds and the conditions, that ice is constantly moving around and it’s just not safe to be on.”

Police advise not to go out on Lake Superior due to risk of wind direction breaking up ice. As for inland lakes, look at the ice thickness. A solid four inches and you’ll be good to go- but always stay cautious.