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Synopsis A broad low pressure over the southern Bering will dissipate while a stronger northwest Pacific low pressure will weaken in place through Monday.
Satellite imagery from the evening of Wednesday, May 20th and morning of Thursday, May 21st shows the shorefast ice on the north side of the island remains intact especially from Savoonga eastward, extending up to 7 miles offshore. From Gambell to Kangee Camp, shorefast ice extends from about 1 miles to 3 miles offshore. Between Kangee Camp and Savoonga, there is an area of very close pack ice with medium to vast floes with a bit of open water just west of Savoonga. South of the island is ice free and west of the island is open water. Savoonga east to approximately 10 miles east of Camp Kulowiye and north to the Bering Strait is generally very close pack ice consisting of big to giant floes.
Shorefast ice is rapidly deteriorating in this area. From Nome to Port Safety there is very open pack ice with small floes that extends up to 3 miles offshore. Some shorefast ice remains around Port Safety, extending one-half mile offshore. Open water extends from Solomon to Port Safety up to 4 miles offshore. Otherwise the surrounding area is close pack ice consisting of big to vast floes.
Shorefast ice extends approximately 35 miles to the west of Brevig Mission. Beyond the shorefast ice is open water.
Ice around Wales remains shorefast 1 to 3 miles offshore. Near Mugisitokiwik to Ikpek there is consolidated pack ice with medium to vast floes anywhere from 15 to 30 miles offshore. About 15 miles offshore Shishmaref, there is an area of open pack ice to the northwest. Otherwise, compact pack ice consisting of big to giant floes covers the rest of the surrounding area.
Sea ice remains shorefast between Little Diomede and Big Diomede Island. There is very close pack ice to the east and north of both islands with medium to vast floes. To the south and west, an area of very open pack ice exists with small to medium floes.
Sea ice will generally continue to drift southward to southwestward through Thursday the 28th. During times of light and variable winds, sea ice will generally move by local currents. Existing polynyas will continue to expand southwestward as well through the next week.
NWS 5-day Sea Ice Forecast
NWS Sea Ice Concentration Analysis
Northeast winds 10 to 15 kt (11 to 17 mph) on Friday, May 22nd will increase to 20 to 25 kt (23 to 29 mph) on Saturday, May 23rd from St. Lawrence Island through the Bering Strait. The strong winds from St. Lawrence Island to the Bering Strait will diminish on Monday, May 25th, with winds becoming variable 5 to 10 kt (5 to 11 mph) across the region on Monday. Winds will shift to the southeast 10 to 15 kt (11 to 17 mph) Tuesday, May 26th with little change through Wednesday, May 27th. Winds will become variable 5 to 10 kt (5 to 11 mph) on Thursday, May 28th and persist into Friday, May 29th.
High temperatures from Friday, May 22nd through Friday, May 29th will be in the mid 30's to near 40 degrees across St. Lawrence Island and from the Bering Strait northward. Daytime temperatures ranging from the mid 40's to lower 50's are expected along the southern Seward Peninsula from Teller to Nome. Overnight low temperatures will be in the lower 30's from St. Lawrence Island and from Bering Strait northward, but in the upper 30's to lower 40's along the southern 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
Higher resolution satellite images and wind maps (wind updated daily) can be viewed here: http://www.weather.gov/afg/SIWO_overview