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Arctic Regional Synopsis

Regional charts and associated synopsis write-up capture ice and environmental conditions throughout the Arctic which are based on the U.S. National Ice Center’s weekly analysis. Charts and synopses are updated weekly on Fridays. Note: Baltic Sea analysis is provided by the Finnish Meteorological Institute. The Canadian Archipelago (Canada East, Canada North, Canada West, and Hudson Bay) analysis is provided by the Canadian Ice Service.

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Baltic Sea

The ice condition is mainly unchanged. In the northern Bay of Bothnia rotten fast ice in places in the archipelago. Along the fairways mainly open water. Around Oulu 1 ridged 10-40 cm thick close ice. Off Raahe 10-40 cm thick very close ice to Nahkiainen. The ice in the ice field has started to rot, but in places there are thick floebits. In the southern Bay of Bothnia along the coast off Kalajoki very close ice to Pohjanpauha and open ice to Ulkokalla. Farther out ice-free.

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Barents Sea

Overall movement of the sea ice in the northern Barents was a southward drift with a slight push toward the west. Air temperatures near zero have lingered in the vicinity of the ice edge all week. Thinner ice types are melting out near the ice edge as ice is migrating away from the pack ice. Ice in the southern portion of the Barents remains near the coastal areas as a westerly wind component is moving it to the east.

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Bering Sea

The Bering Sea is experiencing substantial melt as most of the area is above freezing. Ice in some areas is rather thick but still able to move away from the coastal areas. There are still areas of ice in some of the smaller rivers and areas with more shallow water. The western region is also melting out with some blowout near the coast. This is moving the non-fasted ice out into the sea. The fast ice that remains is being eroded by the off shore winds and above freezing air temperatures. Warmer temperatures now dominate the area around the Kamchatka Peninsula. The remaining ice is confined to isolated remnants along the coast, with the only significant presence of ice in southern Karaginsky Gulf.

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Canada East

Frobisher Bay contains bergy water, with a mix of thin and medium first-year ice along the southern coastline. The Davis Strait contains predominantly thick first-year and old ice and medium first-year ice further east and along the ice edge. The Labrador Coast consists of medium and thick first-year ice as far as Nain, becoming predominantly medium first-year to the south. A trace of old ice extends south beyond 54°N.

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Canada North

The Arctic Ocean consists of predominantly old ice. Nares Strait contains a mixture of old ice, thick first-year and some young ice. The ice within Ellesmere, Axel Heiberg, Parry and Sverdrup is fast with thick first-year ice and some old ice. Jones Sound is fast thick first-year ice with a trace of old ice. There is an area of bergy water at the entrance to Jones Sound. Western Lancaster Sound is fast with thick first year-ice with a trace of old ice throughout. The eastern half of Lancaster Sound is bergy water with some mobile young ice including a trace of old ice becoming thick first-year ice mixed with old ice at the far eastern end. Prince Regent Inlet and the Gulf of Boothia contain thick first-year ice with some old ice. Baffin Bay consists of old ice, thick and medium first-year ice. Cumberland Sound is a mix of thin, medium and thick first-year ice, with small concentrations of young ice. There are some significant bergy water areas opening up. Some signs of spring break-up have occurred in southern regions. Fast ice in western Cumberland Sound is starting to fracture. Many thaw holes opened in the fast ice along Greenland.

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Canada West

The Queen Elizabeth Islands continue to be surrounded by fast ice consisting of old ice and thick first-year ice. The fast ice within M’Clure Strait, Viscount Melville Sound, M’Clintock Channel and Barrow Strait contain a mix of old and thick first-year ice. Peel Sound remains fast with thick first-year ice with a trace of old ice in Browne Bay. The ice within Victoria Strait, Queen Maud Gulf, Coronation Gulf, and Dolphin and Union Strait remains fasted with thick first-year ice. The Amundsen Gulf contains fasted thick first-year ice that includes a trace of old ice in the central region between Cape Lambton and Cape Lyon. The mobile pack ice in the Beaufort Sea is composed predominantly of old ice and thick first year ice. Thick and medium first-year ice predominates in the southern extent of the mobile pack ice, while the coast has a wide band of fast thick first year ice in place. Additionally there is a trace of old ice west of 136 degrees west in this southern extent of mobile pack ice.

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Chukchi Sea

Warmer temperatures have begun to take hold of the Chukchi sea. North of the Bering Strait, temperatures around freezing have supported the beginning of melt out, and leads along the Alaskan coast have significantly limited new ice production. Temperatures over the main pack ice remain below freezing; westward drift dominates the northern pack ice, while a reversal toward the east-northeast dominates the central and southern pack ice.

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Cook Inlet

Sea ice free

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East Siberian Sea

Temperatures are beginning to rise in the East Siberian Sea, slowing the development of new ice in the openings along the fast ice edge. The fast ice is starting to deteriorate, most notably in the eastern portion of the sea.

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Greenland Sea

In the northern Greenland sea and toward the central region, air temperatures are at or below freezing, maintaining the existing ice. Further south, freezing air temperatures hug the coast line, thinner ice is melting. A low pressure center east of Greenland has consolidated the ice along the coast. Sea ice in the heart of the Greenland Current has traveled as much as 130NM since last analysis.

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High Arctic

No synopsis write-up for the High Arctic as it remains consistent throughout this part of the year. A synopsis write-up will begin during summer months as ice retreats and becomes more dynamic in the region.

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Hudson Bay

Hudson Bay has mostly medium first-year ice in the southeastern half, a mix of thick and medium first year ice in northern Hudson Bay, and a mix of first-year and young ice in the extreme northwest. Openings in the ice have extended along the fast ice near Inukjuak. Open water has also spread around the south and west coasts of Southampton Island. James Bay contains predominantly medium first-year ice, with open water at Moosonee. Foxe Basin contains predominantly thick first-year ice, with some medium first-year ice along the northern coast of Southampton Island, and some open water developing in the far northwestern section. Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay are predominantly medium first-year ice. A trace of old ice extends into the eastern region of Hudson Strait, towards Akpatok Island (in Ungava bay). Thick first-year ice in the western sections of Hudson Strait has progressed eastward beyond Salisbury Island.

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Kara Sea

The Kara Strait remains closed but ice continues to melt with an extended area of open water south of the Strait through the northern portions of Novaya Zemlya. Fast ice is beginning to fracture in some places and openings are seen throughout the pack ice this week.

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Laptev Sea

Openings are beginning to form within the pack ice in the Laptev Sea. Fast ice is deteriorating south of Severnaya Zemlya. New ice growth has slowed in the openings between the first year pack ice and the fast ice along the Russian coast.

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Sea of Japan

An invasion of warmer temperatures has accelerated melt-out. Tatar Strait is filled with rotten fast ice, with the ice breaking up and melting south-to-north and at the mouth of the Amur river.

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Sea of Okhotsk

In the Sea of Okhotsk, there are several areas of ice along the coast that are still fasted. The largest area remains in the Sakhalin Gulf. The northern portion of the Sea of Okhotsk is starting to melt out. The temperatures in that region are still between -1°C to 1°C; however offshore flow has helped to melt quite a lot. The central portion has almost melted out completely leaving just some small ribbons of ice. The northeast areas still have patches of fasted ice and pack ice along the eastern coast. Ice remains along the western edge of the Shelikhov gulf.

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White Sea

The White Sea continues melting rapidly. Remaining sea ice is along the northern coast near the entrance to the southern Barents Sea.

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Yellow Sea

Sea Ice Free

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