Great Lakes Reaches Maximum Ice Coverage

By Christopher Readinger, USN
U.S. National Ice Center
March 15, 2022

Suitland, MD — The U.S. National Ice Center (USNIC) has determined that the Great Lakes experienced maximum ice coverage for the 2021-2022 ice season of approximately 56% on February 26, 2022. This maximum is comparable to the average of approximately 53%1. Figure 1 shows the USNIC daily ice analysis for February 26.

This winter was characterized by highly variable weather. The Great Lakes region experienced alternating periods of very cold temperatures allowing for rapid freeze up across the Great Lakes followed by warmer conditions ahead of low pressure systems which also brought strong winds to the region and destroyed ice. The result was significantly fluctuating ice coverage throughout the winter, especially in February. Ice coverage rose above 50% on three occasions: February 14-15, February 25-26, and March 3.

Satellite image of Great Lakes on 26 Feb 2022
Figure 1: USNIC analysis of ice concentration and thickness on February 26, 2022

USNIC daily analysis of ice coverage on the Great Lakes is completed in coordination with the Canadian Ice Service as part of the North American Ice Service. To access USNIC Great Lakes products, visit

For more information, please contact:
National Ice Center
Command Duty Officer
Voice: (301) 943-6977
Twitter: @usnatice
Facebook: @usnatice

The U.S. National Ice Center is a tri-agency center operated by the Navy, NOAA, and Coast Guard and provides global to tactical scale ice and snow products, ice forecasting, and related environmental intelligence services for the United States government.

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