June Call for Sea Ice Outlook Contributions

June Report (Based on May data)
Submission deadline: Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Contact: Helen Wiggins, helen [at] arcus.org, ARCUS

Since 2008, the annual SEARCH Sea Ice Outlook (SIO) has obtained over 300 community predictions of the September sea ice extent.

This year represents a transition for the SIO, as it is now managed as part of the Sea Ice Prediction Network project as a contribution to SEARCH. The goal of the SIO is to improve sea ice prediction on seasonal time-scales by developing a network of scientists and stakeholders to advance research on sea ice prediction. At a recent workshop and over the past few years, SIO contributors and users have offered many recommendations for expanding the SIO. Starting this year, the SIO reports will be responsive to these recommendations and will evolve to a more robust scientific tool. While keeping the same general structure for the SIO as before, it is time to encourage more model participation and expand the information provided from model activities.

For the June and July reports (using May and June data, respectively), we request pan-Arctic Outlooks. Later in the season (early August), while updates to pan-Arctic Outlooks will be welcome, we will primarily focus on regional forecasts. However, contributions for pan-Arctic and regional will be accepted during all periods.

We will also post a separate announcement calling for participants in a SIPN Action Team to work with us to further develop and steer the details of SIO reports as the season develops.

We encourage all past contributors to submit Outlooks this year and we also hope to see new participants.

ALL Outlook submissions should be sent directly to Helen Wiggins, ARCUS, at helen [at] arcus.org, with the following subject lines, as relevant:


An MS Word document is preferred for ease of formatting to PDF files and extracting images for the website - we will not edit your individual submission and will not post your Word documents.

Submission Guidelines

The submission deadline is Tuesday, 10 June 2014 and all submissions should be sent to Helen Wiggins, ARCUS, at helen [at] arcus.org. Please feel free to contact Helen with any questions or clarifications.

Core Requirements for Pan-Arctic Contributions


  1. *Contributor Name(s)/Group

  2. *Type of Outlook projection
    ___model ___statistical ___heuristic

    If you use a model, please specify:
    Model Name ____
    Components of the model: Atmosphere__, Ocean__, Ice__, Land__, Coupler___
    For non-coupled model: Ice ___, Ocean___, Forcing___

  3. *September monthly average projection (in million square kilometers)

  4. *Short explanation of Outlook method (1-3 sentences)
    In addition, we encourage you to submit a more detailed Outlook, including discussions of uncertainties/probabilities, including any relevant figures, imagery, and references.
    If this is a model contribution, please include method of method of initialization and variable used.

  5. Projection uncertainty/probability estimate (only required if available with the method you are using)

  6. Short explanation/assessment of basis for the uncertainty estimate in #5 (1-2 sentences)

  7. *"Executive summary" about your Outlook contribution
    1-3 sentences, to be used in Outlook summary: say in a few sentences what your Outlook contribution is and why. To the extent possible, use non-technical language.

Additional (Optional) Items For Pan-Arctic Contributions

  1. Spatial forecast/map for September mean ice extent. Either images (e.g., jpg, tiff, pdf) and/or data may be provided. If data is provided, formats with geographic information included (e.g., geoTIFF) or in NetCDF are preferred, but we will work with the format provided as long as all relevant grid/projection/data format information is provided.

  2. Hindcast validation statistics for a set period. If your method has been tested in a hindcast mode, please provide summary statistics for whatever period used.

  3. Estimate for the week that the minimum daily extent will occur (expressed in date format using Sunday to denote the week: e.g., week of 14 September).

Submitting A Regional Outlook

We will focus on the regional reports later in the season (e.g., early August). However, Regional Outlooks are welcome at any time. Regional Outlook contributions should include:

  1. Region of Interest
    Please describe the region your Outlook covers; a location map showing your Outlook region is preferred.

  2. Sea Ice Parameter
    Provide a regional pattern or a single value estimate of phenological stages (i.e., melt onset, freeze onset, break-up and freeze-up dates, length of open water season) or monthly ice concentration, ice area, and ice extent. Please indicate whether you expect ice conditions to be similar, lighter (i.e., lower ice concentrations, earlier melt onset, earlier break-up, later freeze-up), or heavier (i.e., greater ice concentrations, later melt onset, later break-up, earlier freeze-up) than those of summer 2013.

  3. Outline of Methods/Techniques
    Provide the type of estimate (heuristic, statistical, ice-ocean model, traditional knowledge, etc.) with a brief description of the methodology and a short paragraph describing the physical rationale for the estimate.

  4. Estimate of Forecast Skill
    If possible, please include any estimates of past forecast skill and probability/uncertainty associated with your prediction.

Past SIO reports can be found here