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Great Lakes Surface Ice Reports from U.S. Coast Guard

Metadata Updated: November 12, 2020

Data consist of ice observations from U.S. Coast Guard vessels operating on the Great Lakes, and from Coast Guard shore stations reported via teletype messages and ice logging forms. Observations include ice thickness and concentration, weather conditions, and ice breaking activity. Data from 1961/1962 through 1966/1967 have been processed to a standard format and sorted by year and stations, and are available via FTP as ASCII files, one for each of the five lakes. These data were provided to NSIDC by the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL), along with documentation. The documentation, Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory Great Lakes Surface Ice Reports, 1961-1966, is included here. Data from 1970/1971 through 1993/1994 are available on microfilm. The original ice reporting forms for these years were filed as part of the ice operations files of the Ninth District U.S. Coast Guard Ice Navigation Center, Cleveland, OH. Data from 1994/1995 through 2003/2004 are available via FTP in a single .tar file for each ice season.Note that no editing or quality control has been performed on this data set. Microfilmed records are difficult to use, as they are sorted by date and time only, and contain extraneous information. The electronic data from 1994/1995 forward are raw teletype reports. These are not in a consistent format, and also contain extraneous information. NSIDC obtained these data from a NOAA National Weather Service public FTP server. The National Weather Service obtained the data from the United States Coast Guard Headquarters. NSIDC was unable to locate a responsible party within NOAA who could provide NSIDC with a new source for the data. Therefore, the records end in 2004. Users may wish to contact the U.S. Coast Guard for information on obtaining the individual ship reports.

Access & Use Information

License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

Downloads & Resources


Metadata Date August 13, 2015
Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date November 12, 2020
Reference Date(s) January 1, 1995 (publication)
Frequency Of Update asNeeded

Metadata Source

Harvested from NSIDC

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Date August 13, 2015
Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date November 12, 2020
Reference Date(s) January 1, 1995 (publication)
Responsible Party National Snow and Ice Data Center (Point of Contact)
Contact Email
Guid noaa.ncei.nsidc.G00805
Access Constraints Access Constraints : none, Use Constraints : none
Bbox East Long -76
Bbox North Lat 49
Bbox South Lat 41
Bbox West Long -93
Coupled Resource
Frequency Of Update asNeeded
Harvest Object Id f3cf4634-b5bb-4093-a8a0-ceb62cf736ca
Harvest Source Id f24c6629-4c02-44bc-863f-5f319481e810
Harvest Source Title NSIDC
Metadata Language eng; usa
Metadata Type geospatial
Progress complete
Spatial Data Service Type
Spatial Reference System
Spatial Harvester True
Temporal Extent Begin 19611110
Temporal Extent End 20041231

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