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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

Temperatures remain above freezing throughout the region, with the exception of the northernmost portion of the region where temperatures linger at or near freezing. The pack ice has drifted slightly northward as a result of southerly winds early in the week. The combination of winds and warm temperatures have caused the ice edge to recede northward by as much as 80 nautical miles over the last two weeks.

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Bering Sea

Ice is flowing southward out of the Chukchi around the far northeastern coast of Russia and just barely entering the Bering Sea.

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Canada East

Frobisher Bay and Cumberland Sound contain bergy water with thick first-year and old ice across their entrances. The Davis Strait contains predominantly thick first-year ice and old ice. Bergy water extends along the Labrador coast. Lake Melville is ice-free.

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Canada North

The Arctic Ocean consists of predominantly old ice. Nares Strait contains a mixture of old ice and thick first-year. Some of the ice within the Arctic Archipelago is still fast with thick first-year ice and some old ice. The fast ice has fractured north of Cornwallis Island, in southern Norwegian Bay, and in western Jones Sound. Central Jones Sound remains fast thick first-year ice with a trace of old ice. The ice in Eureka Sound is now mobile with thick first-year ice and traces of old ice. Lancaster Sound and the waters to the south have mobile thick first-year ice with traces of old ice, with the exception of Committee which has larger amounts of old ice present. Baffin Bay consists of mainly first-year ice with smaller amounts of old ice along and near the Baffin Island coast. The northern section of Baffin Bay has bergy water. Very little fast ice remains along the coasts. Some fast ice and mobile thick first-year ice remains along the Greenland coast east of Thule. Most of Cumberland Sound has bergy water with thick first-year and some old ice at the entrance.

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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. Most of the ice north of Cornwallis Island, through Penny Strait, Belcher Channel and around to Hell Gate has fractured, generating more mobile ice and open water/bergy water areas. The remaining fast ice in eastern Viscount Melville Sound fractured. M’Clure Strait, Viscount Melville Sound and Barrow Strait are predominantly old ice, with thick first year ice. Fast ice remains in the bays of Victoria and Prince of Wales Islands. The ice concentration lessened in Prince of Wales Strait. The fast ice fractured in Prince Regent Inlet and it is now mobile thick first year ice. The ice in M’Clintock Channel remained a very close pack of predominantly old ice with thick first year ice. Larsen Sound and Victoria Strait remained a very close pack of thick first year ice with a trace of old in Larsen Sound. Concentrations lessen in Rasmussen Basin and in Queen Maud Gulf. Dease Strait and Bathurst Inlet are now open water and most of Coronation Gulf is considered ice free. The southern part of Amundsen Gulf is now open water/ice free. The northern part has thick first year ice with a trace of old. The mobile pack ice in the Beaufort Sea is composed predominantly of old ice and thick first year ice. Zones of open drift and very open drift first year ice and old ice are found on the edges of the pack ice. More zones of open water appeared near the coast from Cape Bathurst to Prudhoe Bay. From Prudhoe Bay to Point Barrow, along the coastal zone is a mix of open water and very open drift thick first year ice.

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Chukchi Sea

Ice has continued to recede northward. First-year ice has become incredibly rotten especially in the central Chukchi Sea. The Alaskan coast is now fast-ice free. Ice has filled and compressed into the Siberian Coastal current, which has brought significant amounts of ice southward along the northern coast of the Chukchi Peninsula.

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Cook Inlet

Sea Ice Free

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East Siberian Sea

The final trace of fast ice in the East Siberian Sea has broken up. Areas of open water continue to widen, as warm temperatures promote the melt of remaining coastal ice and winds drive the ice pack northward.

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Greenland Sea

The Greenland Sea saw rapid melt in the southern portions with only strips of multi-year ice remaining. The central area of the region has been affected by a low pressure system that did act to help in mixing up and eroding the thinner ice. Ice in the northern region remains, however there are areas of fracture. With temperatures above freezing these areas are not refreezing and as such there are open water areas several miles wide. Thicker multi-year ice remains in the extreme northern region along with fasted ice.

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Hudson Bay

Hudson Bay consists of ice free across the northern half and first-year ice across the southern half. This ice pack is predominantly thick first-year ice in the southwest and the medium first-year ice in the southeast rapidly deteriorating alongside an area of open water. James Bay contains open water; however, the pack ice containing medium and thick first-year ice extends into the Bay's entrance. The western half of Hudson Strait contains bergy water with thick first-year ice extending around Nottingham Island. Ice in Foxe Basin is mostly thick first-year ice with a few areas of open water. North of Ungava Bay, the eastern half of Hudson Strait has marginal old ice. Ungava Bay contains bergy water.

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Kara Sea

Very little residual sea ice remains near the eastern shores of Novaya Zemlya. In the northern Kara Sea, most of the fast ice has either completely melted out or no longer fasted as warmer temperatures (0°C to 14°C) continue to invade the region. The seasonal melt continues throughout the area as warmer temperatures persist.

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Laptev Sea

The only remaining fast ice in the Laptev Sea exists in extremely sheltered bays in and around Severnaya Zemlya. Polynyas surrounding Severnaya Zemlya continue to grow as warm temperatures melt out the first year ice. Only fragments of ice remain along the Russian coast as the area of open water expands north and westward.

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Sea of Japan

Sea Ice Free

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Sea of Okhotsk

Sea Ice Free

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Yellow Sea

Sea Ice Free

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