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Sea ice remains shorefast along the northeast coast of St. Lawrence Island up to 2 nautical miles from the coast. Very close pack ice extends from 2 to 7 nm beyond the shorefast ice. Shorefast ice is gone from the northwest coast of the island, although shorefast ice remains within Nayvaghpak (Niyokpok) Lagoon. The remainder of the waters surrounding the island are sea ice free.
There is some close pack ice to the west of Nome along the coast and up to 12nm offshore. There is also some close pack ice along the coast near Safety. The coastal waters around Nome otherwise consist mainly of sea ice free waters.
Shorefast ice continues to show rapid deterioration lately with new leads developing. Much of the previously shorefast ice continues to look more like very close pack ice or consolidated ice which extends 18 to 25 nm offshore, with open pack ice beyond that and then open water. The extent of the shorefast ice looks to be generally 1-2 nm from shore with an area up to 5-7 nm closer to Wales.
Little Diomede Island is now sea ice free on all sides.
Near the Wales to Shishmaref coast, shorefast ice is expected to remain in place through the next week as very close pack ice sits to the northwest of the shorefast ice. The pack ice in the region will continue to break up and melt, but some open water will remain west of Wales. The offshore waters of the Bering Strait region will likely remain sea ice free for the season. For St. Lawrence Island, the sea ice on the northeast side of the island will continue to melt as waters warm and it spreads apart with local winds and currents. Near Nome, the close pack ice to the west of Nome will continue to spread out and melt over the course of the next week.
NWS 5-day sea ice forecast
Winds on Friday, May 26th will be southerly 15 to 20 kt (15 to 20 mph) from Norton Sound to the Chukchi Sea but northerly 5 to 10 kt (5 to 10 mph) across St. Lawrence Island. Winds will generally become southerly around 10 kt (10 mph) across the region Saturday and Sunday. Winds will shift to northeast 15 to 20 kt (15 to 20 mph) on Monday, May 29th and increase to northeast 20 to 30 kt (20 to 35 mph) on Tuesday, May 30th with the strongest winds from the Bering Strait to St. Lawrence Island. Northeast winds 20 to 30 kts will persist Wednesday and Thursday and gradually diminish on Friday, June 2nd.
During the forecast period, temperatures 5 to 10 degrees colder than normal on Friday will gradually warm to near normal by Monday, May 29th. Temperatures will continue to warm next week to 5 to 10 degrees above normal by Friday, June 2nd. High temperatures will climb into the mid 40s over St. Lawrence Island and upper 50s along the Seward Peninsula.
Daily Weather, Wind, and Temperature Updates
The National Weather Service provides twice-daily, text only updates on the weather, wind, and temperature conditions in specific geographical zones. An interactive weather map for access to other Alaskan zones can be found here: http://weather.gov/anchorage/ice
Wind maps are updated daily and can be viewed here: http://www.weather.gov/afg/SIWO_overview