Frozen Great Lakes Halt Cargo Shipments

“The shipping season has begun, but ice remains,” says the New York Times.

Great Lakes Freeze
The Arthur M. Anderson got underway on Lake Erie on Saturday, 24 days after getting stuck in the ice. Credit Canadian Coast Guard

23 Mar 2015 – “A deep freeze this winter left much of the Great Lakes blanketed in thick ice, sidelining the ship lines and companies that move vast amounts of grain, cement and other commodities through this system of waterways,” says the New York Times.

“Cold spells and snowstorms have taken a bite out of businesses across the Northeast and Midwest of the United States, as well as in Canada. Car manufacturers have blamed the weather for weak sales. Housing starts, too, have slumped. And blizzards in places like Boston have been brutal for many local businesses.”

Shipping is usually up and running by March. But the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway has been postponed until April 2. Even then, there is no assurance that all of the lakes, particularly choke points prone to ice buildup, will be navigable.

Last year, ice cover on the Great Lakes peaked at 92.5 percent and persisted in some places until June. This year, ice cover reached 89.1 percent.

“Two especially severe winters back to back — we haven’t seen that in a long time,” said George A. Leshkevich, who tracks the ice for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Mich. “All the lakes seem pretty brutal.”

The article goes on to describe the trials that businesses dependent on Great Lakes shipping are having to endure.

See entire article:

Thanks to Terry Pack, Icelord and Javk Hydrazine for this link

12 thoughts on “Frozen Great Lakes Halt Cargo Shipments”

  1. Don’t forget, Al Whore told us that we will have freezing before the massive MAN MADE Global Warming that will kill all of us. And the UN Chief of the Global Warming concerns, Edward Rothschild, is keeping an eye on this as well.

  2. I wonder how much the wind plays a part in calculating the Ice coverage. I read here that one lake was 90% covered but then a wind storm drove a lot of ice on itself, bunched up and made a bigger ice free patch. Perhaps we need another way of calculating how much ice, but it may be moot when it dosent melt all the way this summer.

  3. Not only 2 back to back brutal years, but three above average years as well. 2012-2013 were also significantly above average.

    Weather slowly becoming climate?

  4. More evidence of the Cool Sun solar minimum with the later opening of the seaway, four weeks later than three or four years ago, and the pause in world temperature rises may now be in reverse. Regional temperatures are falling slowly dependent on jet stream locations, others areas are static such as the West coast of North America.
    The Solar Max is currently behaving oddly with an abrupt turn to very small spots and very few large spots above the wolf threshold. The slow decline to the end of the cycle may have already started but there is time for another lower peak of activity when compared with other cycles.
    Ship owners had better prepare for 12 harsh winters on the trot with increasing duration and thicker ice, the Great Lakes are cooling rapidly to a greater depth, this will cause Ice to form sooner and last longer as each winter season progresses. The US may well have experienced another winter quarter of negative growth, the spring quarter may just be positive. With the US just escaping a technical recession.

  5. Spring snow brings school, bus cancellations, crashes in Manitoba. WINNIPEG, March 25, 2015 — School buses and in some places school have been cancelled in rural Manitoba as the province is hit by snow Wednesday morning.
    Fort la Bosse, Park West, Border Land, Garden Valley and Red River Valley school divisions have cancelled school.
    The Franco-Manitoban School Division has cancelled classes at St. Agathe and St. Jean Baptiste schools, and buses for Jours de Plaine, St. Lazare and Aurèle-Lemoine schools.
    Turtle River, Beautiful Plains and Garden Valley school divisions have cancelled buses, while Lakeshore School Division is open and buses are running, but bus delays are expected, with some pickups possibly not serviceable. A bus rolled on Highway 75 south of St. Adolphe near the Glenlea Research Centre, closing that highway.
    A crash also closed the westbound lanes of the Trans-Canada Highway from Headingley, Man., to five kilometres west of Elie, Man.

  6. What’s weird is that I am on vacation still in Connecticut and there is still ICE in the local water reservoir which rarely even freezes over during winter nevermind being frozen still come April…Great Lakes dodged a bullet that the cold centered around New England this year…meanwhile at night up in the Presque Isle area of Maine it’s still below zero Fahrenheit

  7. I keep note of things happening with my treadmill and I noticed that the first snow here of a inch or more was last oct,2 in iron river, mi it stayed for the next 6 plus months.

    for Robert
    Also I had a First Sgt G-Uncle in Co.E of the 14th Wisconsin and he kept a note book during the civil war in the west from 1861-1865 and he noted date and temp on occasion would this information be of interest to any one. I would have to go thru it and compile the temp. It seemed rather cool such as below freezing before Vicksburg in may 1863

  8. Check out the Lake Superior temperature transect for today’s date:

    Yes, last year had more ice cover and colder water temperatures in the upper water column – but it’s obvious that there is MUCH colder waters in the eastern half of the lake at deep levels.

    Less thermal heat retention = easier chance to ice over the following year, especially at depth during turnover of the lake.

    Is NOAA paying attention, or do they just not care?

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