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  • Author or Editor: Raymond A. Assel x
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Raymond A. Assel

Abstract

Annual seasonal average ice cover from 1973 to 2002 and associated dates of first ice, last ice, and ice duration are presented and discussed. The annual seasonal average ice cover of each Great Lake is used to define three ice cycle classes: mild, typical, and severe. About half of the severe ice cycles occurred from 1977 to 1982 and about half of the mild ice cycles occurred from 1998 to 2002. The seasonal progression of daily lake-averaged ice cover, spatial differences in ice cover, and differences among the Great Lakes for mild, typical, and severe ice cycles are discussed within the context of lake bathymetry and winter air temperatures. Seasonal average ice cover is larger on Lakes Superior, Erie, and Huron relative to Lakes Michigan and Ontario, because of shallower depths (for Erie and Huron) and lower air temperatures (for Superior) relative to Lakes Michigan and Ontario. This ice cycle classification scheme can be used to compare future Great Lakes ice cycle severity with this 30-winter benchmark.

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