Ice Conditions for the Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are the place in the U.S. where the U.S. Coast Guard has the most interaction with vessels in ice. In collaboration with the Coast Guard and others, ADAC’s project team has developed an ice condition index (ICECON) for the Canada-U.S. Great Lakes. ICECON is a decision support tool that combines vessel class information with nowcast and forecast lake ice conditions. ICECON forecasts relevant conditions up to 72 hours into the future, making use of circulation and ice models developed by the Canadian WCPS-CGL (Water Cycle prediction System Coupled over the Great Lakes) Forecast. In parallel with the development of ICECON, the research team identified and adopted a vessel classification system to define a number of vessel classes and the ice-capability of ships in those classes (in terms of ICECON). As the ICECON project now advances through final testing and validation, the forecasting system will help the Coast Guard provide guidance and appropriate decision support to Great Lakes marine vessels (for a given class) planning a given transit.