The Great Lakes have a large influence on regional weather and climate, making it much different than what you experience inland. These large bodies of water store a lot of energy in the form of heat, impacting the weather around them.
The Great Lakes influence regional climate. If you visit one of the Great Lakes you will notice that the weather is much different than inland. The temperature and winds vary from day to night and throughout the seasons.
Lake Michigan, ranked second largest of the Great Lakes according to volume, is the only Great Lake entirely within the United States. Averaging 279 feet deep, the lake reaches 925 feet at its deepest point. Lake Michigan is approximately 118 miles wide and 307 miles long and boasts more than 1,600 miles of shoreline, including many sandy beaches.
Lake Superior is located on the northern edge of Wisconsin and stretches between the Upper Peninsula of Michigan north to Ontario Canada. It also spans west to the eastern edge of Minnesota. Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes by surface area and volume. It is like a mini-freshwater ocean, you can't even see the other side from the Wisconsin shoreline.
Although similar to Lake Erie in surface area and physical dimensions, Lake Ontario is a much deeper lake, averaging 283 feet. Comparing their volumes, Lake Ontario holds almost four times more water than Lake Erie. Ontario ranks fourth among the Great Lakes in maximum depth, but its average depth is second only to Lake Superior.
Lake Erie is the shallowest of the Great Lakes (averaging only 62 feet) and overall the smallest by volume. Erie is also exposed to the greatest effects from urbanization and agriculture. Lake Erie measures 241 miles wide and 57 miles from north to south, and has 871 miles of shoreline. Because it's not as deep as the other lakes, Erie warms rapidly in the spring and summer and is frequently the only Great Lake to freeze over in winter.
Lake Huron is the third largest of the Great Lakes by volume, holding nearly 850 cubic miles of water. The shores of Huron extend more than 3,800 miles and are characterized by shallow, sandy beaches and the rocky coasts of Georgian Bay. Lake Huron is 206 miles wide and approximately 183 miles from north to south. Home to many ship wrecks, the lake averages a depth of 195 feet.