Friday, 9 March 2018 - Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook

Weekly Outlook

Date: 
9 March 2018

Click the name of each community below to view more frequently updated and detailed information from the National Weather Service.

Near St. Lawrence Island

A polynya has formed with open pack ice remaining on the north side of St. Lawrence Island due to the recent persistent southerly winds. On the south side of the island there is consolidated ice with very close pack ice to the south. On the west side of the island is close pack ice that extends up to five nautical miles offshore.

Nome

The forecast has not yet begun in this region for the 2018 season. Forecast information for this area will be provided as sea ice opens up and hunting activities begin.

Wales to Shishmaref

The forecast has not yet begun in this region for the 2018 season. Forecast information for this area will be provided as sea ice opens up and hunting activities begin.

Little Diomede

The forecast has not yet begun in this region for the 2018 season. Forecast information for this area will be provided as sea ice opens up and hunting activities begin.

Forecast Discussion

Ice Forecast

Sea ice will begin to grow and thicken once again as the winds become northerly to easterly and colder air moves into the region. Sea ice to the north of St. Lawrence Island will once again move back toward the shore and some ice on the south side of the island may break off and move southward through Thursday.

NWS 5-day sea ice forecast
NWS sea ice stage map

Wind Synopsis

For St. Lawrence Island, north-northwest winds of 25-30kts (25-35mph) are expected Friday and Friday night as high pressure builds in from the west. Winds will ease by midday Saturday to 10-15kts (10-20mph), and then will then lighten further, becoming east at 5-10kts (5-10mph) by Saturday evening. A low pressure system positioned south of the island will strengthen winds through the day Sunday. Easterly winds of 10-20kts (15-25mph) are expected through Sunday night, then becoming north by midday Monday. As the main system tracks to the east into mainland Alaska, winds will ease to 5-10kts (5-10mph) on Tuesday and return to the east-northeast.  Another low pressure system developing south of the island on Wednesday will produce north-northeast winds of 15-25kts (20-30mph) across St. Lawrence Island through much of Wednesday. There is some potential that winds may be as high as 35kts (40mph) during this time as well. Winds will ease back to 5-15kts (5-15mph) on Thursday.

Temperature Trend

High temperatures will range from 10-15F on Friday through Sunday and will warm up into the low 20s Monday through Thursday. Low temperatures will range from 5-10F tonight, dropping to 0-5F on Saturday night. Beginning Sunday night, low temperatures will begin to rise, with lows on Tuesday and Wednesday nights expected to be in the middle teens.

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

Marine forecast for the West Coast and Arctic Coast

Remote Sensing Images

St. Lawrence Island satellite image

Observations and Comments

Observations of Sea Ice Development

Observations from Savoonga

8 March 2018 – Aqef Waghiyi

No ice at all around Savoonga. People went boating a couple of days ago but no luck. Blowing snow, very low visibility, storm today. Storm warning until Sunday. There has been young ice a couple of times, but only for three days at the longest. Last walrus were a couple of weeks ago.

Observations from Gambell

7 March 2018 – Clarence Irrigoo, Jr.

Clarence reported seeing six walruses feeding about a mile offshore on March 9th. Also, no ice but lots of slush.

Blizzard conditions in GambellBlizzard conditions in Gambell

Blizzard conditions and open water in Gambell Blizzard conditions and open water in Gambell