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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

In the northern Bay of Bothnia in the archipelago 45-70 cm thick fast ice to Kemi 3 and Kattilankalla. Farther out 30-60 cm thick, in places rafted and ridged very close ice. There are leads and cracks in the ice field. Off Raahe, 20-45 cm thick fast ice to Jaakko. Farther out 10-40 cm thick rafted and ridged very close ice. There are cracks in the ice field. In the southern Bay of Bothnia 20-40 cm thick fast ice in the archipelago. A lead has opened to the fast ice edge. Farther out 10-30 cm thick rafted, very close ice to the Quark. There are cracks in the ice field.

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Barents Sea

Strong currents have filled in the western and eastern coasts of Svalbard as well as around the northern tip of Novaya Zemlya. Cold temperatures in the northern Barents Sea have sustained ice development across the region. To the south, intrusion of warmer air has resulted in a retreating ice edge, though a return of cold air has resulted in many areas of new ice forming.

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Bering Sea

Passing cyclones have led to significant ice loss throughout much of the region. South of Nunivak and St. Matthew Islands, ice has rebounded, while to the west ice remains confined to coastal areas.

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Canada East

The ice in Davis Strait is predominantly first-year with some young ice in Frobisher Bay and Cumberland Sound. A trace of old ice extends throughout most of Davis Strait. The ice along the Labrador Coast is predominantly first-year ice with a trace of old ice. Lake Melville contains first-year fast ice.

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Canada North

The Arctic Ocean consists of old ice. There is some fast old ice along the northwestern coast of the Queen Elizabeth Islands. The ice in Nansen Sound, Eureka Sound, Greely Fiord and the northern part of Norwegian Bay is fast with mostly first-year ice and a trace of old ice. The remaining part of the bay and the ice around Amund Ringnes Island is fast with mostly old ice and some first-year ice. Nares Strait and Western Kane Basin contain old ice with a mix of first-year ice and young ice. Eastern Kane Basin consists of predominantly first-year ice and some old ice. Most of the ice in Jones Sound is fast and contains first-year ice and some old ice. The mobile ice in the eastern part of Jones Sound and in Hell Gate contains a mix of first-year ice and younger ice with a trace of old ice. Some thick first-year ice is now present in the mobile ice in central Baffin Bay. Wellington Channel and Barrow Strait contain fast 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. Foxe Basin contains first-year ice with some young ice developing in its northwestern section. Baffin Bay and Davis Strait contain mostly first-year ice with proportions of old ice ranging from a trace to five tenths. Along the coast of Greenland mostly first-year ice is present with some young ice continuing to persist around Disko Island. Cumberland Sound contains a mixture of young and first-year ice.

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Canada West

The Beaufort Sea contains predominantly old ice and thick first-year ice near and north of 73°N. The remainder of the ice pack is mainly thick first-year except west and northwest of Point Barrow which contains mainly medium first-year ice. There is some thinner ice within that pack along the fast ice in Amundsen Gulf, near the Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula and west of 152W. The ice around Queen Elizabeth Islands is fast and consists mainly of old ice. There are a few areas with thick first-year ice mixed in. Viscount Melville Sound contains old and thick first-year fast ice; the old ice is mostly concentrated towards Hadley Bay. Barrow Strait consists of thick first-year fast ice. The ice in M'Clure Strait is fast east and around 120W with mostly thick first-year and a trace to 1/10 of old ice along the coast of Banks Island. West of 120W the ice has mobility and consists of thick first-year ice with some medium first-year ice and a trace of old ice. Peel Sound, the Gulfs of Queen Maud/Coronation/Amundsen contain mostly thick first-year fast ice. A trace of old ice is present in Victoria Strait within that fast ice. An area of fast ice is also not as thick in the southeast part of Amundsen Gulf with medium first-year. M'Clintock Channel consists of thick first-year fast ice. Some areas contain as well a trace of old ice and one area on the west side contains 3/10 of old ice. Prince of Wales Strait consists of thick first-year fast ice with areas of a trace to 3/10 of old ice on the north side.

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Chukchi Sea

Blowout is occurring on the northern coast of Russia, Alaska, and Wrangel Island. Temperatures remain below freezing, allowing new ice formation and pack ice development to persist throughout.

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Cook Inlet

Ice continues to develop despite temporary intrusions of warm air and tidal break up.

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East Siberian Sea

The entire region remains covered with sea ice as cold temperatures persist over the East Siberian Sea. New ice continues to form in areas of blowout along the edge of the fast ice. In the eastern portion of the region, areas of fast ice have broken up.

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Greenland Sea

Multiyear sea ice continued its southward movement through the Greenland sea. The ice edge remained relatively unchanged throughout the northern and central portions of the region. Throughout the week, the ice edge was more dynamic in the southern portion of the region. First-year ice continues to round the southern tip of Greenland and is now found in large concentrations along the far southwestern area of Greenland.

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Hudson Bay

Hudson Bay contains mostly first-year ice with young ice along its western coast. James Bay consists of mostly first-year ice, with some young ice along its western coast. New and young ice has formed in the eastern section of James Bay because of a wide opening. Southern Foxe Basin consists of mostly first-year ice. Hudson Strait contains mostly first-year ice with some young ice along its northern coast; a trace of old ice remains at the entrance of Hudson Strait. Ungava Bay consists of mostly first-year ice with some young ice along its southern coast.

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Kara Sea

Kara Sea ice growth continues this week. Weaknesses have formed in the fast ice, with significant break up south of Severna Zemlya. Areas of blowout continue to generate new ice in the southwestern Kara Sea.

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Laptev Sea

Extremely cold temperatures dominate the Laptev Sea, especially toward the west. The coast of Russia remains entirely encased in fast ice, although some previously fasted sea ice around Severna Zemlya has broken up.

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Sea of Japan

Sea ice within the Sea of Japan continues to melt as a series of cyclones have brought warmer air. Temperatures remain below freezing over the Strait of Tatar and along parts of the Russian coast, allowing ice to persist in these regions.

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Sea of Okhotsk

A migratory low pressure system has passed through the region bringing warmer temperatures to the southern Sea of Okhotsk, and has halted the normal southward ice drift along Sakhalin Island to produce slight northward progression of the sea ice. As a result, the pack ice has begun to show signs of melting north of Hokkaido as the ice pack begins to fray. New ice formation has slowed significantly within the small polynyas along the Russian coast.

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White Sea

Southerly winds and warmer temperatures have created large areas of blowout and significant ice loss. A return of below freezing temperatures has begun to fill polynyas and the ice edge with new ice.

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Yellow Sea

The Yellow Sea remains sea ice free.

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