“Ice lasted on the Great Lakes well into the spring this year and for the first time in back-to-back years since the 1970s, Great Lakes ice coverage exceeded 80 percent. With the NOAA predicting at greater than 90% that El Niño will last through this upcoming winter, and other signs point to a record strong El Niño developing!
These signs, accompanied with results from previous El Niño winters, have shown that El Niño winters lead to warmer temps and less ice on the Great Lakes. This doesn’t necessarily mean that there won’t be snowfall this year though. The biggest factor to keep an eye on during this winter will be the lake effect snow events, which is the byproduct of cold air moving over warm water, creating an unstable atmosphere.
Needless to say, the El Niño that we are experiencing currently will make weather predictions a bit more difficult.
Read more here: http://www.weather.com/news/climate/news/el-nino-ice-great-lakes-winter-2015-2016