The great lakes are now frozen enough for a plane to land on the ice

Just how frozen are the great lakes right now? Frozen enough that a plane was able to successfully land on the deeply frosted over waters of Lake Huron today.

While flying over Lake Huron today, a pilot of a seven-passenger aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing when the engine stalled. The plane touched down safely on the thick ice, where safety crews met it with snowmobiles and sleds to tow the aircraft back to land.

The great lakes have been nearing a record level of frozenness — peaking last week at 89%. It still hasn't hit the record set in 1979, where the lakes hit an amazing 95% level, but it's looking possible that we could hit, or even exceed, the record this year.

Image: The great lakes as seen from space today / NOAA