How big is Lake Superior?
Big enough that experts estimate about 350 shipwrecks have occurred in Lake Superior, of which only half have been located. It is just a bit smaller than the country of Austria.
How deep is Lake Superior?
Lake Superior’s average depth is 483 feet and reaches a depth of 1332 feet, about a quarter-mile deep. The deepest point is 40 miles north of Munising on the south shore of the lake.
How cold is Lake Superior?
The highest surface temps are about 65º F in August, with the coldest temps in March when they hit the freezing point. The lake forms ice covering about 70% of its surface in any given year and freezes over once every 20 years, the last time being 2014. Park Point, the sand peninsula reached by crossing the iconic Aerial Lift Bridge, boasts shallow sandy shorelines where the summer sun warms the water. As you head up the north shore or away from shore the water gets colder.
Lake Superior, referred to locally as ‘the big lake,’ acts as a coolant in the summer months, bring temps down by 15-20º F compared to a few miles inland. Hence the colloquialism ‘colder by the lake.’ This flips in the winter when that warm 30-35º water acts like a heating pad keeping conditions along the shore more temperate, well, relatively.
Lake Superior offers up plumes of sea smoke when the cold winter air hits the ‘warm’ water,’ refracts the sun into millions of flashes across its’ rippled surface, raises waves big enough that you can feel their crash in your heart. It is awe inspiring.