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It’s cool today in Chicago, but a reminder it could be worse

Terry Virts, a NASA astronaut on the International Space Station, shares wondrous images of Earth everyday. Today is another beauty, but he might just be trolling us poor Great Lakes denizens a little bit.

Virts serves up this gorgeous shot of the whole region with a reminder that the snow and ice are all gone from our lakes. As cool and grey as Tuesday has been and Wednesday is forecast to be, that might help to serve as a reminder that is was much worse not too long ago.

By comparison, this was Lake Michigan in February when about 85 percent of the Great Lakes were covered in ice in February:

Now, just imagine in three months or so when the water is actually warm enough to enjoy.

And all that ice melting has an added benefit, though. It helped clear up the Lake Michigan waters enough to show off a series of shipwrecks as an added bonus.