Graham Sustainability Institute

Better Communicating Great Lakes Ice Forecasts

Project Photo

Project Team

Ayumi Fujisake-Manome - Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering, College of  Engineering
Maria Carmen Lemos - School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS)
Devin Gill - SEAS 
Eric Anderson - Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, NOAA

See:       Researchers to sharpen Great Lakes ice alerts  (Great Lakes Echo)

Project Summary

As climate change accelerates, extreme weather and lake events have become more frequent in the Great Lakes. Shipping vessels and the U.S. Coast Guard need usable ice forecast information to adapt to changing ice conditions, which can render ports inaccessible and present significant safety concerns for ice-cutting vessels.

Ice conditions are not currently included in the five-day forecasts of lake conditions provided by NOAA’s Great Lakes Operational Forecast System (GLOFS). The principal investigator, Dr. Ayumi Fujisaki-Manome, has been working with a research team to construct an ice forecast model that can be incorporated into the system. Recognizing that in the past researchers have not worked closely with stakeholders to understand what forecast information they need, this project aims to do things differently.

With catalyst grant funding, the team will work closely with the Lake Carrier’s Association and the 9th District U.S. Coast Guard to develop an operational ice forecast. Using an approach based on knowledge co-production, the team will convene a workshop with stakeholders that will ensure the resultant product – a Great Lakes ice forecast visualization – will be relevant, usable, and effective with buy-in from two critical stakeholder groups. The workshop will also identify barriers and opportunities for forecast knowledge co-production and develop recommendations to improve future GLOFS co-production efforts.

This project received a $10,000 Catalyst Grant in 2019.