Great Lakes Reaches Maximum Ice Coverage

LT Jacquelyn Putnam, NOAA
U.S. National Ice Center
March 03, 2023

Suitland, MD — The U.S. National Ice Center (USNIC) has determined the Great Lakes experienced maximum ice coverage for the 2022-2023 ice season on February 04, 2023 at approximately 23.35% coverage. This maximum is significantly lower than the average maximum of 53%¹ and occurred approximately one month earlier than normal. Figure 1 (below) shows the USNIC daily ice analysis for February 04.

This winter was characterized by warmer than average temperatures with two brief cold air outbreaks, the first in late December and the second in early February. This second cold air outbreak led to the maximum ice coverage on 04 February.

Satellite image of Great Lakes on 26 Feb 2022
Figure 1: USNIC analysis of ice concentration and thickness on February 04, 2023

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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