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ISBN 978-0-8061-2056-0. NOAA GLERL and its partners conduct innovative research on the dynamic environments and ecosystems of the Great Lakes and coastal regions to provide information for resource use and management decisions that lead to safe and sustainable ecosystems, ecosystem services, and human communities. Animation of Historical Great Lakes Ice Cover NOAA GLERL's ice cover dataset extends from 1973 to present, serving the Great Lakes community in research, application, and management. However, we did experience one brutal winter in 2013/2014. Great Lakes Ice Cover Observations Lake Erie Vertical Temperature Mooring (2017) links to NCEI archive Lake Huron Vertical Temperature Mooring (2012-2019) links to NCEI archive What factors impact ice coverage on the Great Lakes? The present configuration of the Great Lakes basin is the result of the movement of massive glaciers through the mid-continent, a process that began about one million years ago during the Pleistocene Epoch. With shorter winters and op… Shipping is shut down for a part of the year. How to read an ice chart. Ice cover … MODIS True Color Images of the Great Lakes (by lake) Great Lakes MODIS True Color; JAVA GIS / MODIS; International Field Year on Lake Erie (IFYLE) - Lake Erie | Saginaw BayMODIS True Color The 2011-2012 ice cover maximum was approximately 5%, the lowest ever observed in the satellite era. On that day, ice covered 55 percent of the lakes, according to the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. These links to the Great Lakes Coastal Forecasting System -- Nowcast/Forecast pages include: current observed ice cover, wind, and air temperature; model-derived ice thickness, ice velocity, vessel icing, surface currents, and water temperature. Typical ice condition charts. According to the records I have, that’s the 9th highest extent in the 47-year satellite record. By April, the lakes begin their annual melt. Great Lakes Ice Cover from December 6th, 2017. These products are downloaded at GLERL by our Coastwatch program, a nationwide NOAA program within which the GLERL functions as the Great Lakes … Last Friday was the earliest date that all three Great Lakes already had ice since the better reporting of early season ice began. Data is from the U.S. National Ice Center and the Canadian Ice Service. Since the 1970s, ice coverage has generally decreased. The Great Lakes farther south (Erie and Ontario) see their maximum ice extent in February while the maximum ice extent is normally found in March in the northern Great Lakes (Superior and Huron). Ice cover on the Great Lakes can vary widely from one year to the next. But this is an anomaly. Looking year to year, things can swing wildly from a lot of ice to a little which is why forecasting ice cover in the Great Lakes every year is so important. (Feb. 19, 2019) These links to the Great Lakes Coastal Forecasting System -- Nowcast/Forecast pages include: current observed ice cover, wind, and air temperature; model-derived ice thickness, ice velocity, vessel icing, surface currents, and water temperature. Since 1973, the maximum ice cover over all of the Great Lakes was 95% in 1979, while the minimum during this period was only 1 1% in 2002. NOAA GLERL's ice cover dataset extends from 1973 to present, serving the Great Lakes A downward trend since the 1970s in the annual maximum extent of Great Lakes ice cover, which reaches a maximum every year during late winter and early spring, spells trouble for the Great Lakes ecosystem and the people who rely on it. Buried within that long-term decreasing trend in lake ice are cycles of lower and higher amounts of lake ice that take place over decades. The greatest declines have been in Lake Superior, Huron, St. Clair, and Erie. The last time they came this close was in 1994, when 94 percent of the lakes' surface was frozen. The map shows the extent of the maximum ice cover on the Great Lakes for each year. Whitefish, for instance, use the ice cover to protect its eggs from big winter storms, which rile up the water. Even the climate itself is impacted by the ice overage. As you can see, there is a lot of ice on Lake Superior. That frigid year, the Great Lakes together reached 92% ice coverage, during which Lake Erie and the Straits of Mackinac (the region between Lakes Michigan and Huron) completely froze over and Lakes Huron and Superior nearly froze over. Great Lakes ice cover continues to increase. Ice actually has a considerable impact. Ice coverage on the Great Lakes reached 85.4 percent on Feb. 18, marking the second winter in a row that ice coverage has exceeded 80 percent. On the bottom is a time series of the annual maximum ice cover averaged over all of the Great Lakes from 1973 to 2018. 11.5% ice coverage … Back to the main GLERL ice page, NOAA - Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR). Large interannual and decadal ... And he sent me pictures of people standing on little ice floes, jumping into the lake in the winter. community in research, application, and management. For one, shipping across the Great Lakes is a multi-billion dollar industry which employs tens of thousands of people. As of February 11, 69.1 percent of the Great Lakes were ice covered, according to data from NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Average maximum ice coverage on the Great Lakes from 1973-2018. “The Great Lakes have 9 times the ice coverage of last year at this time,” says reader Marque2. Decent early season ice coverage records date back to 1973. These far-reaching impacts emphasize the need for continued monitoring and modeling of the Great Lakes as our climate continues to change. The bottom image shows ice cover a year earlier (March 16, 2014) when ice covered 75 percent of the lakes. Although the reason for the shift is not completely understood, Lake Superior's and Huron's shifts coincide with a strong ENSO event occurring in 1998. These links to the Great Lakes Coastal Forecasting System -- Nowcast/Forecast pages include: current observed ice cover, wind, and air temperature; model-derived ice thickness, ice velocity, vessel icing, surface currents, and water temperature. Shipping is shut down for a part of the year. The long-term average for ice coverage on all five lakes—Superior, Michigan, Erie, Huron, and Ontario—is 54 percent. “And 33 times that of two years ago.” Here are comparison maps of ice concentration on Lake Superior. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired the top image of ice cover on North America’s Great Lakes on March 17, 2015. Lake Michigan's ice coverage is impressive, as these pictures show, but it's still far from breaking a record. Riley, John L. (2013) The Once and Future Great Lakes Country: An Ecological History (McGill-Queen's University Press 516 pages; traces environmental change in the region since the last ice age. Great Lakes Ice Cover See also 60-day GLSEA SST/Ice Animation The Great Lakes ice cover was from 15% to 18% this week, compared with about 67% a year ago, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says Why 8 … On that day, ice covered 55 percent of the lakes, according to the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. Since 1973, the average maximum ice cover extent for the Great Lakes has been just 50%, and in those four decades, the ice extent has surpassed 80% just five times. Data from GLERL/NOAA. Great Lakes ice cover decreasing over last 40 years A downward trend since the 1970s in the annual maximum extent of Great Lakes ice cover, which reaches a maximum every year during late winter and early spring, spells trouble for the Great Lakes ecosystem and the people who rely on it. The U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards have assisted over 300 ships this winter, one of the most demanding years for icebreaking. Was off by 33% in coverage in 48 hour forecast period. The recent cold across the Great Lakes and relatively light wind has resulted in the most ice coverage for the winter season so far. In particular, the middles of Lakes Ontario and Lake Michigan remain on average 80-90% ice-free at winter maximum. The Detroit Army Corps of Engineers has kept records of Great Lakes ice coverage going back to 1973. The image on top shows the Great Lakes at the time of maximum ice cover averaged from 1973-2018 based on winter season data from NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. Then, additional chilly weather stopped the thaw and led to rapid ice … The map shows the extent of the maximum ice cover on the Great Lakes for each year. The translated total loss in lake ice over the entire 38-yr record varies from 37% in Lake St. Clair (least) to 88% in Lake Ontario (most). cover. In contrast, Lake Erie, a shallower lake, is normally over 70% ice covered by late winter. Clear skies, thanks to high pressure over the region, reveal lake ice and snow cover on the ground in remarkable detail. Great Lakes CoastWatch Node NOAA/Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory 4840 S. State Rd. All of the lakes begin to see ice develop along the shallower coasts during late fall and early winter before ice begins to expand in coverage from north to south across the Lakes throughout the winter. Typical ice condition charts. The Great Lakes as a whole are now down to 73 percent coverage. So far, the Great Lakes ice cover is more extensive than it has been in the last two years. In recent years, warmer surface water temperatures in the Great Lakes have contributed to lower water levels by increasing rates of evaporation and causing lake ice to form later than usual (see the Lake Ice indicator), which extends the season for evaporation. Ice Climatology is a long-term view of ice conditions observations and measurements over a given geographic water region. An average winter is about 55 percent. In that time, the lakes have surpassed 80% ice coverage a mere five times. Fish spawning can be impacted. But ice cover also impacts the Great Lakes ecosystem and climate. Similar ice coverage is reported on the four other Great Lakes. Great Lakes ice cover for February 11, in 2016, 2017 and 2018. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired the top image of ice cover on North America’s Great Lakes on March 17, 2015. Great Lakes MODIS Imagery. Satellite data Lake Huron still has below average ice cover at 24 percent coverage. A familiar view for many who live and play around the Great Lakes graces the current cover of National Geographic – a stormy sunset over Lake Michigan, seen from the sandy beaches of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Stacy Dufour, the coast guard's ice breaking superintendent for the central and arctic regions said Thursday that, on average, about 30 per cent of the Great Lakes are iced over at this time of year. 0.1 percent of the Great Lakes is covered by ice. It also means that more water evaporates from the surface of the lakes leading to lower lake levels. Even at winter maximum, most lakes normally remain at least somewhat un-iced. GREAT LAKES ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH LABORATORY. Large interannual and decadal variability are observed, as well as a downward trend. The recent spell of record cold across the midwestern United States has caused ice on the Great Lakes to reach levels not seen since 2014, with yet more bone-chilling cold in the forecast. A mild winter has kept ice coverage on the Great Lakes well below average this year, according to the Canadian Coast Guard. This variability occurs due to the randomness of the weather, but also larger climate patterns like the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). NOAA's analysis of ice on the Great Lakes on January 30, 2020. Great Lakes ice cover decreasing over last 40 years, Lake effect snow buries parts of the Great Lakes in December 2016, The paradox of lake effect snow: global warming could bring the Great Lakes more of it, at least for a while, Problem child: sometimes snow data need extra love, Northwest Passage clear of ice again in 2016, A warm pool in the Indo-Pacific Ocean has almost doubled in size, changing global rainfall patterns, Nature’s archives: piecing together 12,000 years of Earth’s climate story, March 2020 continues hot start to the year, September 2020: Another record-setting month for global heat. GREAT LAKES ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH LABORATORY. The bar chart shows the maximum total % cover for the Great Lakes basin for each year. The Great Lakes have exceeded that average in four of the last six winters. (NOAA Climate.gov) The study noted that waters have warmed significantly … Lake Superior's ice coverage further beat 2014's record in 2019, reaching 95% coverage… The decreasing maximum ice extent of Great Lakes ice is due to a combination of natural climate influences as well as influences from man-made climate change. The last time the ice cover was even close to this level was in 1996, when it was approximately 82%. NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of the lakes on the early afternoon of Feb. 19, 2014. Last week in a 2 day period NOAA’s Great Lakes Ice model for Lake Superior showed ice decreasing but is gained ice. GREAT LAKES ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH LABORATORY. Declining winter ice cover is the largest driving factor. variability are observed, as well as a downward trend. That being said, if we look at the figure below showing the maximum ice coverage from 1973 through this year, we can see that 2014 saw some … This helpful guide explains the proper way to interpret ice conditions on our charts. 30-year average ice condition graphics for the Arctic, Hudson Bay, East Coast, Great Lakes Two recent consecutive winters (2013–2014 and 2014–2015) brought unusually high ice coverage to the Great Lakes, and on March 6, 2014, overall ice coverage peaked at 92.5%, the second-highest in recorded history. Ice coverage on Lake Superior, Huron and Erie is at 95 percent or more, and ice coverage on the Great Lakes was recorded at 88.8 percent Saturday, according to NOAA CoastWatch, which is a little more ice than at this time last year, WZZM reports. And buried within those cycles are large year-to-year swings. Studies in the Lake Superior region indicate that a river system and valleys formed by water erosion existed before the Ice Age. Peak ice for the entire Great Lakes was reached on March 6, 2014, when 92.19 percent of the lakes were covered. The Great Lakes have warmed faster than the nearby air temperature in recent years. The total ice coverage on the five Great Lakes was 1.5% on Tuesday, or the second lowest for Jan. 7, according to NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL). It can be used to identify averages, trends and record conditions. According to the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, 0.1% of the Great Lakes is covered with ice. The siege of polar air that has gripped the region this winter has caused the most extensive freeze-over of the lakes since … Graph by Scott Sutherland. I have been watching their models for a month and every forcast for each lake and run has been so off I can not understand how it can even be shown to the public. This is the MODIS Lake Superior satellite picture from Wed. PM (2/27/19) (from NOAA Coastwatch). 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