The warm weather in the winter of 1912 was one of the mildest in over 30 years, causing tonnes of ice to break off Greenland's ice fields.
These massive pieces of ice worked their way south into the shipping lanes of the North Atlantic waterways.
Icebergs over 100 feet tall were common, and were often similar in size to large buildings, an incredible sight to see floating along in the sea.
Smaller icebergs that broke off from larger ones were called "growlers" and were plentiful amidst the floating ice.
Sheet ice, also called field ice, that was ten to twenty feet thick was also prominent and many ships had to steer miles off their pre-determined course to get around this ice, and only in the daylight.
All of this ice including icebergs, growlers and sheet ice was drifting more south than usual into the waterways in the winter of 1912 due to the warmer temperatures, causing havoc for ships.
Ships often had to stop at night to avoid damage from the ice, however Captain Smith didn't view this as an option and instead decided to go around the ice field in the dark of night.
Titanic's wireless operators Bride and Phillips received several ice warnings before the ship departed from Southampton, and up to twenty more from ships in the area while Titanic was steaming.
There were ten warnings sent to Titanic on Friday alone about ice in the area specifically that the ship was supposed to cross on Sunday evening.
A crow's nest is a small open platform high above the top deck of the ship, often up to 100 feet or more to allow for an unobstructed views by lookouts to watch for obstacles in the distance, such as icebergs, other ships and land.
Even more ice warnings, a dozen in fact, were received on Saturday by Bridge and Phillips, however they were backlogged with messages from when the wireless system broke down the night before.
The weather was clear and sunny with blue skies on the date of Sunday April 14th, and the seas were calm making a perfect day for many passengers to lounge on the promenade decks to enjoy the sun.
Titanic received an ice warning, the first of the day, at around 9:00am from the ship Caronia that was traveling from New York to Liverpool, "Captain, Titanic-West-bound steamers report bergs, growlers, and field ice in 42 degrees N, from 49 degrees to 50 degrees W, April 12. Compliments, Barr".
While the above ice warning was very detailed, it was two days old and stated the ice was 42 degrees N, and the ice would have likely drifted much further south in those 48 hours.
At 11:40am, a second ice warning was received from another ship, Noordam, with few details other than "Much ice.".
Other ice warnings were received throughout the day, and none of these ended up reaching Captain Smith for one reason or another.
Titanic had two lookouts in the crow's nest to watch for icebergs at all times, however it was very cold on the Sunday evening due to the clear skies, and the lookouts likely spent as much time trying to keep warm as they were looking for icebergs.
At 10:55pm, the ship Californian sent a message to Titanic "We are stopped and surrounded by ice" however this was cut short and ignored by Titanic wireless operator Jack Phillips who was still busy catching up on messages from when the wireless system was not working.
The Californian made no further attempts to reach out to Titanic after Jack Phillips cut the message short by interjecting "Keep out! Shut up! You're jamming my signal. I'm working Cape Race."
At 11:35pm in the freezing cold of night, lookouts Lee and Fleet in the crow's nest noticed a hazy light in the distant horizon, and strained for several minutes to determine exactly what the haze was.
At 11:40, Fleet urgently rang the 16 inch crow's nest warning bell three times and called the bridge in an instant:
"Are you there!" shouted Fleet.
"Yes. What do you see?" replied Moody.
"Iceberg right ahead!" shouted Fleet.
"Thank you," was Moody's reply.