Snow and ice across the Great Lakes •

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features the Great Lakes in February of 2022. The photograph is part of a wintertime series captured by astronauts on the International Space Station. 

“On February 17 and 18, 2022, a strong winter storm brought snow, sleet, and rain to the Great Lakes area of the U.S. and Canada. An astronaut aboard the International Space Station snapped this photograph on February 20, 2022, after the storm,” says NASA.

“At the time, the space station was orbiting directly over northern Iowa, but the oblique angle of the photo shows areas farther to the east including Michigan, Ontario, and the Great Lakes. Clouds still obscured parts of northern Michigan and Ontario, but clear skies prevailed in areas south.”

Between Lake Huron and Lake Erie, the storm dumped nearly seven inches of snow in some places. The photograph shows an abundance of ice on Lake Huron, particularly in Saginaw Bay, and across much of Lake Erie. 

About one week after this image was captured, ice cover on the Great Lakes reached its maximum extent for the 2021–2022 winter. This extent was slightly above average, according to NASA.

“Ice on individual lakes can peak earlier or later depending on conditions that change daily. Lake Erie’s ice cover, for example, peaked late in January 2022 at 94 percent. It then dipped to 62 percent on February 3 and rose to 90 percent on February 5. By the time of this image on February 20, coverage had dropped to 81 percent. Quickly shifting ice cover is often a response to swift changes in wind conditions or air temperature,” says NASA.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

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