Walking to Canada from Cleveland? It could happen, and doesn't happen often

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - For only the third time in recent history, Lake Erie is about to completely freeze over making a walk from Cleveland to Canada possible.

For the record we are not suggesting anyone actually try this, as it would be extremely dangerous.

Contrary to what some people think it's not often the lake freezes over.

According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), it's only happened three times in the past 40 years.

"According to our records, Lake Erie has reached 100 percent ice cover 3 times:  1978, 1979, and 1996. There are a great many other years when Lake Erie's ice cover reached at least 95%," Anne Clites with NOAA said.

"The winters of 1977 (through 1978) and 1994 saw temperatures that were even more frigid and lasted longer than the ones we're living through right now. In 1994 we endured 56 hours with temperatures of zero or below including our all-time record low of minus 20 in Cleveland and minus 25 in Akron-Canton on January 19th," Cleveland 19 Meteorologist John Loufman said.

There's a very logical reason this doesn't happen often. Lake Erie is huge!

"Lake Erie is the tenth largest body of fresh water on the planet and even though it's a relatively shallow lake, it takes a sustained period of exceptionally cold temperatures to freeze a body of water that large from shore to shore," Loufman said.

If you were to set out from the Cleveland shoreline, which again we are not advising you do, and went straight north for 66.6 miles you would end up near the tiny town of Clearville, Ontario.

If you were to walk a mile every 15 minutes it would take you about 16 and a half hours to get there.

Here is how quickly Lake Erie is freezing according to :

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