MODIS true color image of the Great Lakes on the 26th of December 2003.
The deep blue and green waters of the Great Lakes stand out against the snow-covered northern United States and southern Canada, shown here in this true-color Terra MODIS image from December 26, 2003. Lake Superior is northernmost, with Lakes Michigan (west) and Huron (east) arcing toward its southeastern tip. South of Huron, Lake Erie's waters swirl with dense clouds of tan sediment, while Lake Ontario remains clear.
In this image, the Lakes are almost completely ice-free. As winter progresses and temperatures continue to fall through late January, February, and March, the lakes will grow increasingly thick crusts of ice. The waters won't thaw again until warm spring temperatures arrive sometime in April.
Image and text courtesy of NASA's MODIS Land Rapid Response Team.