Animating Ice Cover
Ice cover is a common topic of conversation for those living near Lake Superior in winter, just as water levels are a common topic in summer. Blanket statements about reduced or increased ice cover may over-simplify the situation on Superior because the long-term trend is actually quite complex.
The Infosuperior site includes a wealth of raw Lake Superior environmental data (water levels, water temperature, historical water temperature, real-time river flow to the lake, bathymetry, etc), including a graphic representation of ice cover. The graphic illustrates changing conditions over time with an image depicting ice coverage for each winter since 1973. The animated data is provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
- NOAA Animation of Lake Superior/Great Lakes Ice Cover (animation loads automatically after an explanatory page)
- www.infosuperior.com/data (suite of raw data related to L. Superior, much of it in real time)
Change Over Time
Ice cover for the winter of 2017 stood at about 25%. How does this compare with previous years? According to NOAA’s animation, the number of years with very low ice cover, is the same as the number of years with very high ice cover. Take a look at the following chart, utilizing data from NOAA’s animation. Years in bold were either extremely low, or high, depending on the column.
|LOW ICE COVER
|HIGH ICE COVER
If you would like to see historic ice cover conditions for yourself, a link to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s animated graphic is provided above.