The bottom image shows ice cover a year earlier (March 16, 2014) when ice covered 75 percent of the lakes. 11.5% ice coverage … Great Lakes ice coverage peaked at around 88 percent before a warm spell dipped coverage down to 61 percent. This color-enhanced imagery from the Suomi NPP satellite's VIIRS instrument shows ice cover on the Great Lakes on February 12, 2018. 30-year average ice condition graphics for the Arctic, Hudson Bay, East Coast, Great Lakes These products are downloaded at GLERL by our Coastwatch program, a nationwide NOAA program within which the GLERL functions as the Great Lakes … And buried within those cycles are large year-to-year swings. Another brutal year was 1994, when ice coverage peaked at 89 percent. 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. With shorter winters and op… 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. community in research, application, and management. This helpful guide explains the proper way to interpret ice conditions on our charts. Was off by 33% in coverage in 48 hour forecast period. In that time, the lakes have surpassed 80% ice coverage a mere five times. Clear skies, thanks to high pressure over the region, reveal lake ice and snow cover on the ground in remarkable detail. The Great Lakes certainly do, with ice coverage at its highest percentage in 35 years, according to scientists from the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Mich. 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. Shipping is shut down for a part of the year. Lake Michigan's ice coverage is impressive, as these pictures show, but it's still far from breaking a record. Every year freighters get stuck in the ice delaying deliveries and costing money. ... And he sent me pictures of people standing on little ice floes, jumping into the lake in the winter. 0.1 percent of the Great Lakes is covered by ice. How to read an ice chart. However, while the yearly (and even the five-year running average) can be different from year to year (or decade to decade), the trend in ice cover over all of the lakes since 1973 is downward. Last Friday was the earliest date that all three Great Lakes already had ice since the better reporting of early season ice began. Posted at 8:41 AM, Feb 17, 2020 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 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. An average winter is about 55 percent. Data is from the U.S. National Ice Center and the Canadian Ice Service. The last time the ice cover was even close to this level was in 1996, when it was approximately 82%. 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. The 2011-2012 ice cover maximum was approximately 5%, the lowest ever observed in the satellite era. 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. The seasonal evolution of ice cover on all of the Great Lakes follows a relatively consistent schedule. It can be used to identify averages, trends and record conditions. Teasing out how much of the trend is due to each influence is challenging, however. Great Lakes Ice Cover from December 6th, 2017. Large interannual and decadal Great Lakes ice cover facts since 1973 94.7% ice coverage in 1979 is the maximum on record. A big freeze hit the region right at the end of the shipping season, causing problems for several of the region’s biggest industries. Even at winter maximum, most lakes normally remain at least somewhat un-iced. This is the MODIS Lake Superior satellite picture from Wed. PM (2/27/19) (from NOAA Coastwatch). 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