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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

Relatively strong northeastward movement of the ice in the Barents Sea this week by about 45 NM. Much of the new and young ice present last week did not survive the combination of movement and marginal temperatures.

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Bering Sea

Sea ice free.

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Canada East

Davis Strait and Labrador Coast are bergy water. Lake Melville is ice-free.

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Canada North

Old ice is predominant in the Arctic Ocean. Old ice continues to flow into western Norwegian Bay and the eastern Maclean marine region. The ice in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago is a mixture of old and thick first-year ice. Most of the ice is now mobile. New and grey ice continues to form and grow throughout the Archipelago. First-year and old ice in Barrow Strait has drifts into southwestern Lancaster Sound, Prince Regent Inlet and Admiralty Inlet, where some new ice is beginning to form. Nares Strait is predominantly old ice, as the ice continues to flow southward from the Arctic Ocean and has reached into extreme northwestern Baffin Bay, just northeast of Jones Sound. New and young ice has started to grow in Kane Basin. Bergy water in the rest of Baffin Bay. High concentration of first-year ice in eastern Committee Bay continues drifting into the southern portion of Fury and Hecla Strait.

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Canada West

The Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA) is completely 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 old ice with some first-year ice. New ice has continued to form in the northern sections of the Beaufort Sea, the northern half of the CAA and in Parry Channel. New and grey ice has started to form in the southern part of M’Clure Strait. A few small areas of grey-white ice are now present in northern Ellsemere Island. Parry and M’Clintock Channels are predominant in old ice with substantial first-year ice. New ice has started to form in the Eastern part of M’Clintock Channel. Norweigan Bay contains a mixture of old and first-year ice. Grey ice has started to form. Larsen Sound contains a mixture of old and first-year ice with new ice developing. There are ice free/open water conditions from Queen Maud Gulf to west of Point Barrow Alaska. The Beaufort Sea contains mostly old ice. A large area of first-year pack ice remains southwest of Banks Island with small amounts of first-year ice in adjacent areas that are otherwise characterized by old ice.

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Chukchi Sea

Temperatures have dropped over the past week leading to new ice growth, especially in the northwestern Chukchi sea. Ice drift was southward which lead to an expansion of the ice edge by up to 50 NM in the western Chukchi. While ice drift was also southward in the eastern portion of the region, this was offset by warmer temperatures continuing the melt of the multiyear ice.

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Cook Inlet

Sea ice free.

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East Siberian Sea

Freezing temperatures continue to invade the northernmost and easternmost portions of the the East Siberian Sea, promoting new ice growth where sea ice has been present. In the northern portion of the region, the ice edge has drifted southward in response to winds. The eastern portion of the region ice has drifted eastward in response to a westerly winds.

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Greenland Sea

Winter is returning to the northern portions of the Greenland Sea. Temperatures just below freezing are allowing new ice to develop in the bays and the areas between floes. However, multi-year ice continues to be the predominant ice type.

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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. Most of the ice in Foxe Basin has disappeared with some ice still present north of Hall Beach and West of Prince Charles Island. Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay are bergy water.

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Kara Sea

Winds in the vicinity of the sea ice in the Kara Sea have remained northerly to northwesterly over much of the previous week, promoting slight southeastward movement of the sea ice. Early in the week, freezing temperatures were extending southward over the sea ice free areas, cooling the surface water and promoting the formation of new sea ice. Freezing temperatures have since moved northward to over the ice, but remain near the ice edge. The southern Kara Sea remains sea ice free.

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Laptev Sea

Freezing temperatures have extended southward and have been promoting the formation of new ice in several areas. New ice has formed in the northwestern portion of the Laptev Sea last week and has slowly moved eastward as colder temperatures have persisted. The formation of new sea ice has extended southward along the coast of Severnaya Zemlya to the northern shores of Bolshevik Island. Winds throughout the region have been relatively light and have promoted little movement of the sea ice in the area.

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Sea of Japan

Sea ice free.

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Sea of Okhotsk

Sea ice free.

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White Sea

Sea ice free.

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Yellow Sea

Sea ice free.

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