Great Lakes ice coverage levels well below average: Canadian Coast GuardFeb 08, 2020 07:17AM ● By Editor
A mild winter has kept ice coverage on the Great Lakes well below average this year, according to the Canadian Coast Guard.
Stacy Dufour, the coast guard's ice breaking superintendent for the central and arctic regions said Thursday that, on average, about 30 per cent of the Great Lakes are iced over at this time of year.
However, as of Feb. 4, only five per cent of the lakes were covered in ice, he said, adding that the ice is thinner than normal, as well.
"We all notice that we had some great weather on the Great Lakes, some warmer weather," Dufour said. "So, that's the main reason."
Dufour said the coast guard makes use of ice specialists, as well as satellite imagery when measuring ice thickness and coverage.
He said people are staying safe, despite the ice conditions.
"Everybody understands that ice is not safe," he said. "It's a dynamic environment, and usually people are having some safe manner on the ice."
As for icebreaking activities in the spring, Dufour said they'll be scaled back given the lack of ice to break.
"Our assets, our vessels, are going to deploy in strategic areas, where the needs are going to be," he said.