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

Near St. Lawrence Island

The only sea ice remaining near St. Lawrence Island lies near Tomname Lagoon along the northeast coast of the island. The remainder of the island is surrounded by sea ice free waters at this time.

Wales to Shishmaref

Sea ice in the vicinity of Wales to Shishmaref continued to retreat very rapidly this past week. At this time, lagoon areas from Wales up to Espenberg have melted out to leave only open water conditions. Beyond the lagoon areas from Mugisitokiwik to Espenberg lies a very narrow belt of close pack ice that has consolidated near the coast, but is rapidly deteriorating. Very open pack ice to open water conditions lie beyond this region. The remainder of the southern Chukchi Sea offshore is sea ice free.

Forecast Discussion

Ice Forecast

St. Lawrence Island is expected to be sea ice free for the season by early next week.
Along the coast from Wales to Shishmaref we expect sea ice conditions to continue to deteriorate through the coming week. Increasing temperatures along with the coastal current picking up will aid in melting out the sea ice along the coast. Within the week we expect only isolated open to close pack ice conditions to remain near the coastline.

Weather System/Wind Synopsis

Weakening low pressure in the central Bering Sea and high pressure in the Chukchi Sea on June 10 will quickly give way to strong high pressure in the southern Bering and strong low pressure in the northern Chukchi Sea on June 12. Thereafter high pressure will prevail across the region, though with the prospect for another storm in the Chukchi Sea after June 15, with forecast confidence very low thereafter.

Temperature Trend

Temperatures will be near normal June 10 and then generally be above normal thereafter. Highs in the 40s will rise into the 50s after June 11. Lows in the 30s to lower 40s.

Marine forecast for the West Coast and Arctic Coast

Remote Sensing Images

Bering Strait St. Lawrence Island Wales to Shishmaref