NOAA Projects 30 Percent Average Great Lakes Ice Cover for 2021 Winter


Improved experimental ice forecast to be updated every two weeks

NOAA scientists project the average Great Lakes ice cover for 2021 will be 30 percent, higher than last year’s average of 19.5 percent, but part of a long-term pattern of declining ice cover likely driven by climate change.

Using an improved forecast system, scientists at the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory this year will update seasonal ice cover projections twice a month. Each iteration will take into account the most recent surface air temperature data leading to a more accurate forecast.

The experimental seasonal projections can provide general information to assist shippers, commercial and recreational vessel operators, anglers, coastal managers and the general public who live, work and recreate on and around our nation’s largest freshwater lakes.

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