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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

Sea ice free

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Barents Sea

With the Barents Sea above freezing, the ice edge retreated nearly 50nm to the North around Franz Josef Land, but held fairly steady around Svalbard. The remaining fast ice is breaking up and only a few areas of fast ice remain. Areas of weaknesses are beginning to develop within the pack ice and the ice along the edge continues to melt. There was a slight drift of ice to the west.

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Bering Sea

The region is sea ice free with the exception of a trace of ice which has drifted down the Russian coast through the Bering Strait.

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Canada East

Northern Baffin Bay is mostly bergy water with some thick first year ice remaining in diminishing concentrations. The main ice pack in Davis Strait continues to deteriorate and consists of thick first-year ice with a trace of old ice. The trace of old ice is present south of 73N to 66N. Lake Melville remains ice free. Frobisher Bay, Cumberland Sound and Labrador Coast remain bergy water.

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Canada North

In the Arctic Ocean, old ice remains predominant. In Nares Strait, the mobile old and thick first year ice continues to flow southward. Northern Baffin Bay is mostly bergy water with some thick first year ice remaining in diminishing concentrations. The main ice pack in Davis Strait continues to deteriorate and consists of thick first-year ice with a trace of old ice. The trace of old ice is present south of 73N to 66N. Cumberland Sound consists of bergy water.

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Canada West

The Archipelago remains consolidated except Maclean Strait, Norweigan Bay and Wellington Channel which contain a mixture of old and thick first-year ice. Peary Channel, Massey Sound and northern Norwegian Bay remain fasted. Southern Norwegian Bay through Queens Channel is now mobile. Barrow Strait mainly consists of first-year ice and some old ice and now contains substantial areas of open and bergy water. The ice in M’Clure Strait, Viscount-Melville Sound, M’Clintock Channel is now mobile and contains roughly equal proportions of old and first-year ice. The ice in Peel Sound, Larsen Sound, Victoria Strait and Queen Maud Gulf is now mobile and consists mostly of first-year ice with some old ice. The first-year ice in Dease Strait, Coronation Gulf, Dolphin and Union Strait and Prince Albert Sound is quickly deteriorating. Amundsen Gulf mainly consists of open water with some first-year ice and old ice entering the Gulf via Prince of Wales Strait and the Beaufort Sea. A large expanse of open water stretches along the coast from Amundsen Gulf to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. The Beaufort Sea ice pack is mostly old ice with first-year ice predominant in its southern margin. Greely Fjord and Eureka Sound have unfasted this week, while the entrance to Nansen Sound remains landfast. Lancaster Sound is now bergy water, with first-year and old ice remaining in Barrow Strait. Southern Prince Regent Inlet consists of first year ice with diminishing concentrations in the northern section.

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Chukchi Sea

Air temperatures have remained above freezing throughout the region with temperatures in the Northern portion hovering around 0°C leading to continued melt of the sea ice. Ice continues to melt along the Siberian Coast and along the Alaskan coast near Barrow. Small floes of ice caught in the Siberian current are drifting along the coast south through the Bering Strait.

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Cook Inlet

Sea ice free

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East Siberian Sea

Most of the remaining ice is located in the eastern portion of the region. The ice drift in this area was generally southward leaving most of the ice exposed to temperatures between 0°C and 4°C which enhanced melt. There are new openings in the pack ice and existing openings have expanded this week.

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Greenland Sea

In the northern Greenland Sea, the ice pack remains to the north with progressively scattered floes toward the south. With temperatures just above freezing, paired with cyclones crossing over the northern Greenland Sea, fast ice break-up has begun along with the in-situ melting of fast ice in the interior fjords. The southern half of the Greenland Sea is nearly entirely free of sea ice, with only a few isolated floes of multi-year surviving. The melt out of the ice has released embedded icebergs, with the highest concentrations located in the fjords along the coast and remnant belts and strips further out to sea.

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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 is now ice free except for the last patch of first-year ice remaining along the southern shore. The first-year iice in Foxe Basin continues to deteriorate with sections of open water present along the southern and eastern extents of the pack. The ice is retreating north of Foxe Channel. Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay are now bergy water. James Bay remains ice free.

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Kara Sea

Melt continues as warm temperatures persist over the region. Openings in the pack ice continue to expand along with northward drift, causing a retraction of the ice edge across much of the region.

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Laptev Sea

Temperatures have stayed above freezing over most of the region. Fast ice is continuing to break up along the Russian coast. Ice drift has been northerly across the entire region leading to a retraction of the ice edge by up to 75NM.

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Sea of Japan

Sea ice free

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Sea of Okhotsk

The Sea of Okhotsk is now sea ice free.

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Yellow Sea

Sea ice free

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