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Friday, 22 June 2012 - Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook

Weekly Outlook

Date: 
22 June 2012
Assessment of Current Ice Conditions Relevant to Distribution and Access of Walrus: 

St. Lawrence Island

Major changes are occurring in the dispersion and melting of sea ice in the Bering Sea. The satellite imagery (below) shows that there are strips of sea ice south and west of St. Lawrence Island that extend back west to the Gulf of Anadyr. Less than 25% of the ice remains in the Gulf of Anadyr, and most of this is in the northwest corner of the bay. There are more strips of sea ice just northwest of St. Lawrence Island that are slowly drifting northward. Most of this ice is more than 25 miles offshore. There are still remnants of shorefast ice along the north shore of the island.

Wales to Shishmaref

The shorefast ice west of Shishmaref has finally broken up and is slowly disintegrating eastward. There is a lot of open water between the shore and the grounded ice. There are numerous strips of sea ice floes moving through the Bering Strait, but most are 40 miles or more offshore.

Further south in the Bering Sea there are still large sea ice patches west of Nunivak Island, but much of this ice is melting in place.

5 to 10 Day outlook

Sea ice will continue to melt and disperse. Temperatures should run from the mid 40s (fahrenheit) into the low 50s. A weak high pressure system is breaking down over the northern Bering Sea as a new storm moves into the western Aleutians. This storm will slowly drift into the central Bering Sea over the weekend and continue to slowly drift eastward into the Alaska mainland where it will weaken. By Friday, 29 June, high pressure will again build over the Bering Sea.

St. Lawrence Island wind direction and speed
Map of 10-day outlook of wind conditions
Bering Strait wind direction and speed

Arrows show wind direction and wind speed in knots

Remote Sensing Images

Bering Strait
St. Lawrence Island
St. Lawrence Island High Resolution