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Antarctic Regional Synopsis

Regional charts and associated synopsis write-up capture ice and environmental conditions throughout the Antarctic which are based on the U.S. National Ice Center’s weekly analysis. Charts and synopses are updated weekly on Fridays.

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Amery Region

Much of the consolidated pack ice was reduced in concentration to 8–10 tenths as the ice melted and ice pressure was relieved. With temperatures hovering around 0°C and a weak storm system passing through, the ice edge continued to melt back anywhere from 50–100 NM, with the exception being to the west near the Weddell Region where the ice edge moved very little.

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Amundsen Sea

Strong winds and milder temperatures opened more large holes throughout the pack ice. The last remaining consolidated pack ice was near the border with the Bellingshausen Sea. Coastal polynyas filled with new ice in spots and remained mostly ice free in other areas where temperatures were warmer. Iceberg B-42 reentered the region from the west as it looped around the border with the Ross Sea Region.

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Bellingshausen Sea

After a few weeks of northerly winds compressing the pack, winds shifted to the south in the Bellingshausen Sea, pushing the ice edge north and loosening some of the consolidated pack ice. The cold southerly winds allowed for some new ice development in areas along the coast where polynyas had opened up. Sea ice along the Antarctic Peninsula remained along the coast but also blew outwards with the southerly winds.

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Ross Sea

The annually recurring Ross Sea polynya began to open this week as large areas began to melt out and open up north of the Ross Ice Shelf. The polynya in Terra Nova Bay also remained nearly ice free. Drift in the central and western portions of the Ross Sea Region was towards the northeast and fairly strong. The ice edge shifted south slightly this week and ice continued to deteriorate near the edge as milder temperatures and nearly 24 hours of sunshine combined to melt the ice.

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Weddell Sea East

Much of the heavy 10 tenths consolidated pack ice was reduced in concentration to 8–10 tenths as the ice melted and ice pressure was relieved. There was no katabatic wind activity off the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf over the past week. With the continuing warmer temperatures, many polynyas along the coast stayed open with little new or young ice forming.

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Weddell Sea West

Much of the heavy 10 tenths consolidated pack ice was reduced in concentration to 8–10 tenths as the ice melted and ice pressure was relieved. There was no katabatic wind activity off the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf over the past week. With the continuing warmer temperatures, many polynyas along the coast stayed open with little new or young ice forming.

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Wilkes Land Region

With the combination of warmer temperatures and winds coming from the coast, numerous areas of fast ice continued to break up. This weather pattern also caused the leads and polynyas along the coast to expand from the previous week. In a sign that winter was not yet fully over, new ice formed in most of the openings.

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