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Great Lakes Ice Data with NOAA CoastWatch Great Lakes
Derived Ice Products

Coastwatch GLSEA SST and Ice Cover

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See also FVCOM ice model forecast: sup mih eri ont
Latest NIC Ice Concentration West png, East png, KMZ
6-yr comparison of GLSEA SST and Ice
60-day SST/Ice Animation

latest GLSEA

Daily lake-wide mean ice cover
Daily lake-wide mean SST

Great Lakes Ice Data


Great Lakes Average Ice Concentration % Data

1973 - 2021 2021-2022


Great Lakes Average Ice Concentration Graphs:
Compare All Years to Current Year
Superior
graph
Michigan
graph
Huron
graph
Erie
graph
Ontario
graph
Basin
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Lake Superior ice Lake Michigan ice Lake Huron ice Lake Erie ice Lake Ontario ice Great Lakes ice

Great Lakes Average Ice Concentration Long Term Average Compared to Current Year
Superior
data graph
Michigan
data graph
Huron
data graph
Erie
data graph
Ontario
data graph
Basin
data graph

The period of record for Great Lakes ice cover is from 1973-present. Lake-wide ice concentration* is derived from data produced by the U.S. National Ice Center charts and Canadian Ice Service charts. Data is provided for the entire Great Lakes basin, and Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario. Data interpolations for 2006-2013 provided by the Great Lakes Aquatic Habitat Framework.
*Lake-wide ice concentration represents percentage of ice coverage per pixel in a satellite image.



Great Lakes Satellite Image Products

Great Lakes Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)
Normalized Radar Cross Section (NRCS) Imagery


Recent NOAA CoastWatch Great Lakes SAR NCRS Imagery

Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery maps the surface microwave radar reflectivity at resolutions from a sub-meter to 100 m depending on the particular SAR satellite and mode. Since radar is an active sensor, sending a pulse with a return signal that is measured, the imagery is independent of the time of day. At typical radar frequencies, radar imagery can see through clouds and are considered "all-weather" instruments. Several geophysical parameters can be derived from SAR including sea surface wind speed, sea and lake ice types, surface algae scum features, and as an important resource for rapid response to oil spill detection.

Great Lakes Sentinel 1 A/B Imagery


Recent NOAA CoastWatch Great Lakes Sentinel 1A/B Imagery

The Sentinel-1 mission comprises a constellation of two polar-orbiting satellites, operating day and night performing C-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imaging, enabling them to acquire imagery regardless of the weather. Sentinel-1A and Sentinel-1B share the same orbit plane with a 180° orbital phasing difference. With both satellites operating, the repeat cycle is six days for the Great Lakes.

Great Lakes ICECON Ice Type Classification Imagery


Recent NOAA CoastWatch ICECON Ice Type Classification Imagery
Archived Great Lakes ICECON Ice Type Classification Imagery

Ice formations can be an obstacle for U.S. Coast Guard, commercial, and fishing boats. In order to understand ice formations and types of ice in the Great Lakes, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data from the NOAA CoastWatch Great Lakes Node is used to monitor six different types of ice, ice thickness, and ice cover. This risk assessment tool is known as the Ice Condition Index (ICECON).

Great Lakes MODIS True Color Imagery


Recent NOAA CoastWatch Great Lake MODIS True Color Imagery
Archived Great Lakes MODIS True Color Imagery

MODIS (or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) is a key instrument aboard the Terra (originally known as EOS AM-1) and Aqua (originally known as EOS PM-1) satellites. Terra's orbit around the Earth is timed so that it passes from north to south across the equator in the morning, while Aqua passes south to north over the equator in the afternoon.

Great Lakes Surface Environmental Analysis (GLSEA)


Recent NOAA CoastWatch Great Lakes GLSEA Imagery
Archived Great Lakes GLSEA Imagery

The Great Lakes Surface Environmental Analysis (GLSEA) is a digital map of the Great Lakes surface water temperature and ice cover which is produced daily. The lake surface temperatures are satellite-derived from NOAA Advanced Very High Resolution Radar (AVHRR), Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite onboard the Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership spacecraft (VIIRS S-NPP), and NOAA-20 Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite ( VIIRS NOAA-20) imagery obtained through the NOAA Great Lakes CoastWatch program. Ice cover concentration is added using data provided by the National Ice Center. Lake surface temperatures are updated daily with information from the cloud-free portions of the previous day's satellite imagery (+/- 10 days). If no satellite imagery is available, a smoothing algorithm is applied.