Atlantic ice conditions lighter to date but expected to grow: Coast Guard

ice-breaker

The Canadian Coast Guard says ice conditions so far this year in the Atlantic region are a little lighter than last year, but the next few weeks will determine the overall severity of the season.

Brad Durnford, superintendent of ice operations for the Atlantic region, says milder weather in December has resulted in a slow start to ice formation, although the Coast Guard is expecting a significant workload as temperatures drop.

Durnford says the ice has begun to grow quickly in some areas, including the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

He says the Coast Guard carried out 324 tasks during last year's ice season, which included ship escorts, freeing vessels from the ice and breaking up harbour entrances.

Durnford says the total time for dealing with ice calls in 2018-19 amounted to 187 days.

He says resources are activated in all of zones where the Coast Guard operates in the Atlantic region.