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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 drifts eastwards in the Bay of Bothnia and southwards in the Gulf of Finland. In the northern Bay of Bothnia 25-55 cm thick fast ice in the archipelago. Farther out, approximately to 2 nautical miles south of Kemi 1, is 15-35 cm thick, partly rafted very close ice. At the edge of the ice field close shuga. From Löyhä to Oulu 4 thin very close ice. Farther out ice formation. Off Raahe port shuga. Farther out, open water. In the southern Bay of Bothnia 5-20 cm thick ice in the archipelago. Farther out, open water. In the Quark in the Vaasa archipelago 10-25 cm thick fast ice to Storhästen. Farther out, thin close ice and new ice to Vaasa lighthouse. In the Sea of Bothnia 5-20 cm thick ice in the inner archipelago. In the Archipelago Sea and in the western Gulf of Finland thin ice and new ice in the inner archipelago. In the eastern Gulf of Finland 5-20 cm thick fast ice in the inner archipelago. Farther out, new ice and thin drift ice with varying concentration to Porvoo lighthouse, Tainio and Haapasaari. In the Gulf of Vyborg and off Saint Petersburg 15-40 cm thick ice.

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Barents Sea

Slightly below freezing temperatures over the southern Barents Sea have slowed the growth of sea ice in the area. Southerly winds have prevailed over the northeastern Barents Sea for nearly 2 weeks, drawing relatively warmer air northward, promoting the retreat of the ice edge by as much as 170NM. A large polynya has formed north of Franz Josef Land which has slowly frozen over with new and young sea ice. In the northwestern Barents Sea, the multi-year ice is drifting south into the Greenland Sea as much as 100NM over the past 2 weeks.

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Bering Sea

The ice edge grew from 50-100NM over the past 2 weeks due to strong northerly winds. The winds also caused ice to work its way down most of the Kamchatka Peninsula.

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Canada East

The ice in Davis Strait is predominantly first-year with some young ice and a trace of old ice extending southwards. New and young ice continue to form along the coast of Labrador. Thicker ice is moving down along the coast, containing first-year ice. Within that pack a trace of old ice extends down to 58.5 N. Lake Melville is first-year fast ice.

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Canada North

The Arctic Ocean consists of consolidated multi-year ice. Nares Strait and Western Kane Basin contains old ice with a mix of first-year ice and young ice. There are signs of bridges starting to form near the entrance and exit of Kane Basin. Eastern Kane Basin is fast with predominantly first-year ice and some old ice. The ice in Nansen Sound, Eureka Sound and Greely Fiord is fast. The area contains mostly first- year ice with a trace of old ice. The ice in Jones Sound is fast along the coasts and in the western section. It contains first-year and some old ice. The remaining part of the sound contains young ice with a trace of old ice. Wellington Channel is fast with first-year ice. Barrow Strait contains predominantly first-year ice. Lancaster Sound and the northern section of Prince Regent Inlet contain predominantly first-year ice with a trace of old ice. The southern section of Prince Regent Inlet and Committee Bay contain first-year ice. The ice in Fury and Hecla Strait and Pelly Bay is fast with first-year ice. The ice in the western part of Baffin Bay and Davis Strait is first-year ice with some old ice drifting down along Devon/Baffin Islands. The eastern part of the bay contains predominantly first-year. The eastern part of Davis Strait contains predominantly first ice except for younger ice on the eastern edge of the pack and Disko Bay. Bergy water predominates in the eastern part of Davis Strait. Cumberland Sound contains a mix of first-year and young ice.

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Canada West

The Beaufort Sea contains predominantly old ice and medium first-year ice north of ~72°N. The remainder of the ice pack is predominantly medium first-year ice, with some thin first-year ice and young ice forming along the coast. The fast ice around the Queen Elizabeth Islands consists primarily of old ice mixed with some first-year ice. The western part of Parry Channel contains first-year ice with a trace of old ice. North of Victoria Island, the fast ice consists of old ice and some first-year ice. Barrow Strait contains mobile medium first-year ice east of 96W. The fast ice from Dolphin and Union Strait through Queen Maud Gulf and north to Peel Sound contains first-year ice. The fast ice in M’Clintock Channel also has first-year ice, but with a trace of old ice in some areas. The Amundsen Gulf contains mostly first-year with some young ice forming along the western coast of Banks Island and in Dolphin and union strait along the fast ice edge. The ice surrounding Point Barrow, including the area immediately to the north of this region, contains first-year ice mixed with young ice.

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Chukchi Sea

Strong northwesterly flow has shifted the large mobile ice polygons up to 83NM south and east along with persistent cold temperatures averaging -30°C to -34°C in the upper portions of the sea and -18°C to -20°C towards the Alaskan coast over the last five days allowing for growth of first year ice.

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Cook Inlet

Not available

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East Siberian Sea

The East Siberian Sea saw ice growth along the coast. With fast ice growing slightly the pack ice did move slightly away from the coast.

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Greenland Sea

Ice movement in the Greenland Sea followed normal southerly movement. The ice edge remained in relatively the same location as the previous analysis, however, in some areas, the concentration of the ice found at the edge decreased, particularly in areas in the central and southern portions of the sea. A few areas of fasted ice have broken off and moved away, however, the area quickly refroze into new and young ice.

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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 contains a mixture of mostly first-year and some young ice. First-year ice is predominant throughout, with openings of new and young ice along it’s north west shore. James Bay consists mostly first year ice, with some young ice in the south eastern section. Southern Foxe Basin consists of medium and thin first-year ice, with some new and young ice in openings along the southwestern coast. Hudson Strait contains first-year and young ice, with a trace of old ice at the eastern entry of the strait. Ungava Bay contains first-year and young ice with openings along the western coast.

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Kara Sea

Kara south has seen ice melt but it is beginning to reform. In the western part a large area of once fasted ice has broken free and moved 30 miles to the east. The area quickly refroze with new thinner ice. The most southern bay is still fasted. Northern Novaya Zemlya saw a large area of recession at the northern tip. The northern Kara Sea has had pack ice drift of over 150 miles in two weeks. Smaller islands in the path of these currents have large polynyas on the lee side in addition to the Russian coast.

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Laptev Sea

The Laptev region has a large area of fasted ice near the border with the Kara Sea. What little movement the pack ice did this week was to the north.

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Sea of Japan

There has been strong southward advection of sea ice in the central portion of the Sea of Japan. Winds blowing off the western shores have created a large polynya that has quickly refrozen leaving thinner sea ice in coastal regions. Sea ice continues to extend slowly to the south.

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Sea of Okhotsk

Significant ice growth has accompanied an intense shot of cold air. Pack ice is now found within 100NM of the north coast of Hokkaido with ice forming in-situ in sheltered regions along the coast. Ice has grown significantly eastward off the coast of Sakhalin and westward off the coast of Kamchatka. Northerly winds have pushed pack ice southward with several large conveyor belt areas of new ice formation.

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White Sea

The White Sea has mild temperatures for this time of year, but is still below the freezing level for sea ice formation. The impact of these mild temperatures is slower growth of sea ice. Westerly winds have pushed sea ice along eastern shores within the White Sea.

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Yellow Sea

Colder temperatures over the region have promoted rapid development of sea ice in the Bohai and Laizhou Bay areas.

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