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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 north, the ice edge has receded up to 240NM. The polynyas that were opening last week have continued to get bigger.

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Bering Sea

Rotten first year pack ice remains along the coast of the Gulf of Anadyr, while remnant marginal ice continues to erode within the Bering Strait and north-east of St. Lawrence Island.

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Canada East

A trace of old ice extends westward into Hudson Strait to 71W. The ice in Davis Strait is mostly first-year with a trace of old ice. First-year ice with some old ice extends southwards. Frobisher Bay contains first-year ice with a trace of old ice along with areas of bergy water. The small patches of ice which remain along Labrador Coast are first-year with a trace of old ice.

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Canada North

The Arctic Ocean consists mostly of old ice with some first-year ice. The ice-bridge in Nares Strait remains in place and contains fasted old and first-year ice. There is an area of mobile ice within the fasted ice bridge. The archipelago contains old and first-year fast ice in roughly equal proportion. Barrow Strait contains mostly first-year ice with a trace of old ice. Lancaster Sound consists of mostly first-year ice with some old ice and an area of bergy water between Somerset Island and Brodeur Peninsula. Prince Regent Inlet contains mostly first-year ice with some old ice extending southward to ~72°N. The Gulf of Boothia and Committee Bay contain first-year ice with a trace of old ice in northern Boothia. Foxe Basin contains mostly first-year ice. Open water has expanded across the north and west coasts of Southampton Island. Baffin Bay contains mostly first-year ice, with some old ice in its western section. Cumberland Sound contains mostly bergy water with some mobile first-year ice adjacent to the fast ice. There is first-year ice along western Greenland.

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Canada West

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 firstyear 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 firstyear 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 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 firstyear 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, Peel Sound, and Queen Maud Gulf contain fast first-year ice. A small area of very close pack mobile first-year ice remains present in Victoria Strait. Coronation Gulf is still mostly fast first-year ice, but large areas have broken up, leaving areas of mobile first-year ice. Amundsen Gulf is mostly open water with small areas of very open drift. The fast ice in Dolphin and Union Strait has unfastened and is very close pack first-year ice. There is first-year fast ice along the full length of the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Alaska coastline. Offshore, in the Beaufort Sea, the ice is mostly first-year with some young ice north of the fast ice in Mackenzie Bay. The mobile first-year ice surrounding Point Barrow contains a trace of old 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. The Arctic Ocean consists of old ice with some regions that include first-year ice along the northern coastlines of the QEI.

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Chukchi Sea

Large openings are near at the coast of Alaska west of Barrow. There is still a thin ribbon of fasted ice along parts of the coast. Areas on the Russian side are seeing similar melt near the coast. The Bering Strait has begun to melt out south-to-north. Multi- year ice remains in the northern Chukchi Sea.

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Cook Inlet

The Cook Inlet is ice free.

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East Siberian Sea

Large areas of fasted ice remain in the East Siberian Sea. At the edge of the fasted ice leads are opening up as the ice melt continues. Large areas of openings are present in the New Siberian Islands.

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Greenland Sea

The Greenland Sea has continued to see a consistent decrease in the first year and multiyear pack ice over the last week due to seasonal melt. The pack continues to drift toward and around Cape Farvel due to influence from the East Greenland and Irminger surface currents.

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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

Western Hudson Bay, western James Bay and southern Foxe Basin contain first-year ice. Eastern Hudson Bay and eastern James Bay consist mostly of open water with some first-year ice present in very open drift conditions. Eastern Hudson Strait contains first-year ice in open drift while the western section of Hudson Strait is predominantly bergy water. Ungava Bay contains first-year 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

Polynyas are evident everywhere within the Kara Sea due to continued warmer temperatures.

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Laptev Sea

Several large polynyas around Severnaya Zemyla are nearly open water. Large areas along the Russian coast are still fasted. The sea ice past the fasted areas are continuing to open up as polynyas grow, particularly in the eastern Laptev Sea.

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Sea of Japan

The Sea of Japan is ice free.

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Sea of Okhotsk

The majority of remaining ice is located around the Shantar Islands, consisting of deteriorating pack ice.

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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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