Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook (SIWO)

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Overview

Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook

The Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook (SIWO) is a resource for Alaska Native subsistence hunters, coastal communities, and others interested in sea ice and walrus. The SIWO provides weekly reports from April through June with information on weather and sea ice conditions relevant to walrus in the northern Bering Sea and southern Chukchi Sea regions of Alaska.

The Outlooks are produced with information on weather and sea ice conditions provided by the National Weather Service - Alaska Region and Alaska Native sea ice experts. SIWO is managed by the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS), in partnership with the Eskimo Walrus Commission, the National Weather Service, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and local observers. Funding for SIWO is provided to ARCUS by the National Science Foundation's Division of Arctic Sciences (PLR-1928794).

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Assessment of Current Ice Conditions Relevant to Distribution and Access of Walrus

27 March 2020 - Current Conditions:

Special Statement from National Weather Service Alaska

National Weather Service SIWO forecast information is not available this week due to unforeseen circumstances. Please go to https://weather.gov/afg for your local NWS marine and public weather forecasts and https://weather.gov/ice for sea ice analysis and forecasts at this time. We hope to have NWS weather and ice forecast information available once again next week.

Sea ice maps are still available. The State of the Ice at Season's Start Report will be provided by Matthew Druckenmiller and Hajo Eicken in next week's report.

NWS 5-day Sea Ice ForecastNWS 5-day Sea Ice Forecast

NWS Sea Ice Stage AnalysisNWS Sea Ice Stage Analysis

Assessment of Current Ice Conditions Relevant to Distribution and Access of Walrus

Observations of Sea Ice Development

In this location, you will find comments about ice development based on information provided by local ice experts and other researchers based on ground observations and satellite images.

Additional comments and images are regularly posted to the SIWO Facebook page.

Current Outlook Observations

  • Observations from Wales

    26 March 2020 – Robert Tokeinna, Jr.

    This week compared to last Sunday is that I have seen open water to the north and unsure where the open water starts but my rough estimate is about 4 to 6 miles north of Wales. I have not heard of any activity on the ice, but I have notice increased trails and tracks on the ice. With the community reacting to the COVID 19 virus, I am unsure how that will affect the community's efforts in hunting. Weather is great for pictures today and the whole reason I am reporting early is to ensure best picture quality for my first official observation. Wind was for the most part southerly winds with changing to north winds changing today at about 10 to 30 mph and mildly temperatures between 20 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Overflow at the local water hole persist and advances to neighboring ponds and creeks. I have yet to see a snow bird and local residents report of a couple spotted in the vicinity of the community. You will notice and see that the ice formation is jagged and with different types and layers of ice as seen in the pictures. This ends my observation.

    Sea ice conditions at Wales, Alaska. Sea ice conditions at Wales, Alaska.

    Sea ice conditions at Wales, Alaska, view 2. Sea ice conditions at Wales, Alaska, view 2.

    Sea ice conditions at Wales, Alaska, view 3. Sea ice conditions at Wales, Alaska, view 3.

    Panoramic view from Wales, Alaska.Panoramic view from Wales, Alaska.

  • Observations from Savoonga

    26 March 2020 – Aqef Waghiyi

    Boats went out yesterday and got walrus. Don’t know how far out they went, my guess at least 10-20 miles out or so. They didn’t stay out too long, all the boats got in before dark.

  • Observations from Gambell

    25 March 2020 – Clarence Irrigoo, Jr.

    26°F NE 9mph. West side opening up. Walrus seen in the water this week.

    Sea ice conditions at Gambell, Alaska.Sea ice conditions at Gambell, Alaska.

    Sea ice conditions at Gambell, Alaska, view 2.Sea ice conditions at Gambell, Alaska, view 2.

    Sea ice conditions at Gambell, Alaska, view 3.Sea ice conditions at Gambell, Alaska, view 3.

  • Observations from Port Clarence and Brevig Mission

    27 March 2020 – Marcus Barr

    Sea ice outlook from 17 miles west of Brevig. The ice is solid with rough ice from the beach going all the way out about six miles. Cannot see the ice edge from the beach because we had a very long and cold weather this year. Also, there is no known cracks yet. Next week’s sea ice outlook I will head down on the Port Clarence side for a better report on the ice edge.

    Sea ice conditions near Brevig Mission, Alaska.Sea ice conditions near Brevig Mission, Alaska.

  • Observations from Shishmaref

    27 March 2020 – Curtis Nayokpuk

    All open sea freezing with north winds blowing back ice that drifted out over the last month.

Remote Sensing Data

NASA MODIS Worldview sea ice image NASA MODIS Worldview sea ice image

Additional resources for satellite imagery and weather are available here.