Ice coverage records

In this section, we look at the ice seasons for different regions, when the extent and concentration of ice was at its record high or record low. In the north, the statistics for the season are from May 14 to October 15. In the south, the season begins in the fall when the ice first forms, and continues into the following spring or early summer when the ice melts.

The first table gives the information for the five main areas that the Canadian Ice Service monitors. We call them the Regional areas. The second table is for other areas of interests, either combined Regional areas, or specific areas.

To see the details of each listed area, click on the region’s name. There you will find graphs that show the weekly ice coverage during the recorded season, and a graph showing the comparative ice extent over the past several years.

Regional Areas
Region Season of Minimum Ice Coverage Season of Maximum Ice Coverage Annual Ice Coverage
Western Arctic 2012 1969 1968-2020
Eastern Arctic 2019 1972 1968-2020
Hudson Bay 1974 1972 1971-2020
East Coast 2009-2010 1989-1990 1969-2020
Great Lakes 2011-2012 1978-1979 1973-2020


Areas of Interest
Region Season of Minimum Ice Coverage Season of Maximum Ice Coverage Annual Ice Coverage
Northern Canadian Waters 2012 1983 1971-2020
Canadian Arctic 2012 1972 1971-2020
Northwest Passage 2012 1978 1968-2020
Beaufort Sea 2012 1969 1968-2020
Gulf of St. Lawrence 2009-2010 2002-2003 1969-2020
East Newfoundland Waters 2009-2010 1989-1990 1969-2020
Lake Ontario 2001-2002 1978-1979 1973-2020
Lake Erie 1997-1998 1977-1978 1973-2020
Lake Michigan 2001-2002 1976-1977 1973-2020
Lake Huron 2011-2012 1993-1994 1973-2020
Lake Superior 2011-2012 1995-1996 1973-2020
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