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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 warmer temperatures along the ice edge any ice around Franz Josef Land and Svalbard has melted and the ice edge receded 13-30 NM. This intrusion of warmer air has stalled growth in the pack ice.

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Bering Sea

New ice has begun to form along the coast of Alaska as temperatures cooled over the past few days to between -6° and -10° C in Norton and Golovnin Bays.

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Canada East

Davis Strait, and Labrador Coast are bergy waters.

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Canada North

Multi-year ice is predominant in the Arctic Ocean. Areas of new and young ice continue to form in most areas. Multi-year ice continues to flow into western Norwegian Bay and the eastern Maclean marine region. New and young ice continued to form. The ice in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago is a mixture of multi-year and second-year ice. Most of the ice is now mobile. New and grey with some grey-white ice continues to form and grow throughout the Archipelago. Some thin first-year ice is beginning to appear, mostly around Ellesmere Island. Second-year ice and multi-year ice in Barrow Strait continues to slowly drift into eastern Lancaster Sound, Prince Regent Inlet and Admiralty Inlet, where some new ice is continuing to form. Nares Strait is predominantly multi-year ice with some grey and grey-white, as the ice continues to flow southward from the Arctic Ocean and has reached into extreme northwestern Baffin Bay, just east of Jones Sound. Bergy water in the rest of Baffin Bay. High concentration of second-year ice in eastern Committee Bay continues drifting into Fury and Hecla Strait.

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Canada West

The Canadian Arctic Archipelago remains mobile except small areas of fast ice along its northwestern extent around Prince Patrick, Mackenzie, Borden, Ellef Ringnes and Amund Rignes Islands. The area contains mostly multi-year ice with some second-year ice. Areas of new and young ice continue to form.The Beaufort Sea remains predominantly multi-year ice. The multi-year ice is mixed with second-year ice in the western Beaufort and just northwest of Banks Island. New and young ice continues to form in the Beaufort Sea and the northern half of the Archipelago in openings of the pack ice. In the substantial area between the pack ice and coastal Alaska new and young ice is rapidly forming. Parry and M’Clintock Channels are predominantly multi year ice with substantial second-year ice. New and young ice continues to form in the southwest half of Viscount Melville Sound. Norwegian Bay contains a mixture of multi-year and second-year ice. Young ice continues to develop. Larsen Sound is largely open water with new and young ice developing in the north and west. There are ice free/open water conditions in Victoria Strait, Rasmussen Basin and Queen Maud Gulf to the western entrance to Amundsen Gulf.

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Chukchi Sea

New ice continued to form in the Chukchi Sea along the ice edge, north slope of Alaska, and sheltered bays near Kotzebue. Some ice has become shore fast along the north slope of Alaska in several bays as well as along the northern coast of Wrangel Island.

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Cook Inlet

Sea ice free.

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East Siberian Sea

Temperatures over the entire area have been below freezing the entire period. A large portion of the open water area has started to freeze rapidly over the last couple of days.

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Greenland Sea

Ice continued to grow and thicken in the Greenland Sea. The ice edge has compressed towards the coast by 20 NM on average, while new ice continues to form along the edge. Ice continued to flow south and new ice formed ahead of the leading edge. Ice can now be found 30 NM north of Scoresby Sound. With temperatures well below freezing, ice has begun forming in the southern bays.

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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 and James Bay are ice-free. Open water to ice free in Foxe Basin. Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay are bergy waters. Lake Melville is ice-free.

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Kara Sea

Easterly winds have been present throughout much of the area over the entire week bringing colder temperatures over areas of open water, reducing temperature enough to promote the formation of new sea ice along the edge. The largest change in the area is in the northern Kara Sea near the coast of Russia, where a rapid growth has forced the ice edge to expand up to 60 NM westward.

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Laptev Sea

Freezing temperatures have blanketed that area all week, quickly reducing the temperatures, causing the rapid refreeze of a large portion of the area.

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Sea of Japan

The Sea of Japan remains sea ice free.

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Sea of Okhotsk

Cold temperatures over Sakhalin island and the Russian coast have supported limited new ice formation in sheltered bays along the coast of Sakhalin and also in the northern region of the sea.

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White Sea

Sea ice free.

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Yellow Sea

The Yellow Sea remains sea ice free.

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