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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 Baltic Sea is ice free.

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Barents Sea

In the Barents Sea, the pack ice continues to degrade due to seasonal warming and melt. Consistent southward sea ice drift has sent the ice into warmer waters of the southern Barents Sea to melt, thus receding the ice edge northward.

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Bering Sea

Remnant rotten first year ice remains along the western coast of the Gulf of Anadyr.

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Canada East

The ice in Davis Strait is mostly first-year with some old ice. Frobisher Bay contains first-year ice with a trace of old ice. Labrador Coast is bergy water with some first year ice with a trace of old ice extending south into Labrador Sea reaching 59 N and 61W.

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Canada North

The Eastern Arctic Ocean consists mainly of old ice with some first-year present within the main icepack and along Ellesmere and Axel Heiberg Islands. An ice-bridge consisting of old and first-year ice remains in place in northern Nares Strait. South of the ice-bridge, a zone of bergy water is present while the rest of the Strait contains a mixture of old and first-year mobile ice in very close-pack conditions. The Archipelago is characterized by a mixture of old and first-year ice. The ice in this area continues to rot with widespread surface flooding and several areas of bergy water present. The ice in Prince-Regent Inlet (PRI) and the Gulf of Boothia is mostly first-year with some old ice present in northern PRI. The ice in eastern Barrow Strait and Lancaster Sound is a mixture of old and first-year ice in open or very open drift conditions with its central area marked by a large tract of bergy water. Northwestern Baffin Bay contains old and first-year ice in very open drift conditions with a large area of bergy water also present. A vast area of bergy water remains present south of this area, adjacent to eastern Devon Island and extending well into western Baffin Bay. The main pack in Baffin Bay and northern Davis Strait is predominantly first-year ice with small amounts of old ice present in all but its northern and easternmost sections. Coastal Greenland consists of fast first-year ice adjacent to the above-mentioned first-year icepack north of Upernavik. South of that point, the coast of Greenland is marked by a few remaining patches of first-year fast ice and bergy water offshore. Central and Southern Davis Strait contain mostly first-year ice with up to 2 tenths of old ice present in the icepack which is present in a large band extending down the coast of eastern Baffin Island. Cumberland Sound contains a large zone of bergy water and a mixture of old and first-year ice in open drift conditions.

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Canada West

The Arctic Ocean consists of old ice with some regions that include first-year ice along the northern coastlines of the QEI. The fast ice in the northwestern section of the Queen Elizabeth Islands, in Hazen Strait, Prince Gustaf Adolf Sea, Peary Channel and Sverdrup Channel, contains mostly old ice with some first-year ice. In the southern section of the Queen Elizabeth Islands, polynyas are developing, creating small areas of bergy water, mobile first-year ice, and old ice. The fast ice in Norwegian Bay and Belcher Channel contains mostly first-year ice with some old ice. The fast ice in Byam Martin Channel and Massey Sound contains a mix of old ice and first-year ice. North of Cornwallis Island, in the Wellington Channel, the fast ice contains first-year ice. The entrance to Parry Channel, in M’Clure Strait, contains bergy water with a small area of drifting first-year ice that contains a trace of old ice. The fast ice in Viscount Melville Sound contains first-year ice with some old ice. To the east, in Barrow Strait, the fast ice contains exclusively first-year ice. The section of Barrow Strait that is north of Somerset Island contains mobile ice made up of first-year ice with a trace of old ice. M’Clintock Channel, Sound, and Queen Maud Gulf contain fast first-year ice. A small area of mobile first-year ice remains present in Victoria Strait. Coronation Gulf has first-year ice with open water in the western section. Amundsen Gulf is mostly open water with small areas of very open drift. In Dolphin and Union Strait the first-year ice is melting. The south portion of Price of whales strait is now mobile ice with a trace of old ice. The first-year fast ice along of the length of the Yukon and Alaska coastline is now mobile. Some areas of open water are developing in the fast ice, near shore. Offshore, in the Beaufort Sea, the ice is mostly first-year ice. Off the coast of the Northwest Territories there are areas of open water and first-year ice. North of 72°N, the Beaufort Sea consists of old and first-year ice in roughly equal proportion, except for the north central region which is mostly first year ice. South of 72N, the ice is mostly first-year with some old ice. There is a band of bergy water running along the southeastern Beaufort sea from the entrance of M’Clure Strait, along the west coast of Banks island, and stretching southwest below 71N.

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Chukchi Sea

As seasonal air temperatures warm, the ice edge continues to retreat north into the Chukchi Sea.

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Cook Inlet

The Cook Inlet is ice free.

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East Siberian Sea

Fast Ice is beginning to disintegrate and separate from the coastline. The ice edge is continuing to recede as open water grows in the region.

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Greenland Sea

The multiyear ice in Greenland sea continues to melt with rotten ice enveloping much of the edge and pack ice flow from north to south. Large areas of fasted ice broke up due to continued warming in the region.

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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

Foxe Basin contains first-year ice that is gradually ablating. Two large areas of open water are present in Roes Welcome Sound and Foxe Basin’s northwestern section. Western Hudson Bay and southern Foxe Basin contain first-year ice. Eastern Hudson Bay is mainly ice free as well as southern James Bay while the rest of James Bay and central Hudson Bay is mainly open water with some first-year ice present in the north-west section. Eastern Hudson Strait contains first-year ice with a trace of old ice while the western and central sections of Hudson Strait are predominantly bergy water. Ungava Bay contains first-year ice with some trace of old ice in very close pack conditions with some areas of bergy water along the coast. Lake Melville is ice-free.

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Kara Sea

The pack ice in the Kara Sea continues to deteriorate due to seasonal melt. Large polynyas have formed to the north and to the east of Novaya Zemlya.

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Laptev Sea

River runoff is continuing to break up and melt the ice near the coastline with an increase in rotten ice and polynyas as the pack ice edge recedes towards the Pole.

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Sea of Japan

The Sea of Japan is ice free.

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Sea of Okhotsk

Scattered floes of marginal rotten first year ice remain around the Shantar Islands.

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White Sea

The White Sea is ice free.

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Yellow Sea

The Yellow Sea is ice free.

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