Assessment of Current Ice Conditions Relevant to Distribution and Access of Walrus
Click the name of each community below to view more frequently updated and detailed information from the National Weather Service.
Forecast Synopsis for 16–20 May 2019
Synopsis. Low pressure will remain over the Gulf of Alaska and mainland Alaska while high pressure remains over Siberia. The result is a long period of northerly flow at the surface.
Near St. Lawrence Island
There is an area of consolidated pack ice along the coast east of Savoonga that extends up to 0.75 nm from shore. Extending north from that pack ice to the northeastern Russian coast is a band of open pack ice consisting of small to medium floes that ranges from 2 to 8 nm wide. The nearest sea ice to Gambell is open pack ice consisting of small floes approximately 18 nm northwest of Gambell.
The nearest sea ice to Nome is within Safety Harbor and Golovin Bay. There is also a band of open pack ice consisting of small to medium floes that runs north to south and ranges from 2 to 8 nm wide that is approximately 90 nm west of Nome.
Shorefast ice extends to approximately 3 nm west of Brevig Mission, then there is an area of sea ice free water to approximately 80 nm west of the edge of the shorefast ice where a band of open pack ice consisting of small to medium floes runs north to south. A small band of very open pack ice consisting of brash ice lies between Little Diomede and Big Diomede islands.
Wales to Shishmaref
Open water extends from the Wales to Shishmaref coastline to approximately 30 nm northwest of the coastline. There is then an area of close to very close pack ice consisting of brash ice to small floes extending another 12 to 15 nm from shore. A small band of very open pack ice consisting of brash ice lies between Little Diomede and Big Diomede islands.
A small band of very open pack ice consisting of brash ice lies between Little Diomede and Big Diomede islands.
Sea ice will drift southward to southwestward as the northerly winds continue. There will likely continue to be melting sea ice overall in the St. Lawrence Island and Bering Strait regions.
Little Diomede to Wales to St. Lawrence Island:
North Wind 20 to 30 kt (23 to 35 mph) on Friday, May 17th will continue through Saturday, afternoon May 18th and diminish to 10 to 20 kt (12 to 23 mph). This trend continues until Monday, May 20th when north wind increases to 15 to 25 kt (17 to 29 mph) for the region lasting through to Thursday morning, May 23rd and diminishing to 10 to 20 kt (12 to 23 mph) continuing through Friday, May 24th.
Norton Sound-Seward Peninsula-Nome:
North wind 10 to 20 kt (12 to 23 mph) on Friday, May 17th will continue through Friday evening, May 17th diminishing to variable wind less than 5 kt (6 mph) by Saturday, May 18th morning. This trend continues through Monday, May 20th when in the morning the north wind will ramp up to 10 to 20 kt (12 to 23 mph) continuing until Wednesday, May 22nd morning. The wind on Wednesday, May 22nd will become variable less than 10 kt (12 mph) lasting through Friday, May 24th.
Bering Strait-Far Western Seward Peninsula-St. Lawrence Island:
High temperatures Friday, May 17th lasting to Monday, May 20th will be in the mid 30s. Tuesday, May 21st through Friday, May 24th high temperatures will range from the mid 30s to near 40 for the region. Low temperatures Friday, May 17th through Monday, May 20th will range in upper 20s to near freezing. Tuesday, May 21st through Friday, May 24th a warming trend into the mid 30s for low temperatures is expected.
Eastern Seward Peninsula-Nome:
High temperatures Friday, May 17th continuing through Friday, May May 24th will range from the upper 40s to lower 50s. Low temperatures will continue in the mid to upper 30s.
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
Higher-resolution versions of satellite images can be viewed here: https://www.weather.gov/afg/SIWO_overview
Marine forecast for the West Coast and Arctic Coast
Remote Sensing Images
Observations and Comments
Observations of Sea Ice Development
Observations from Savoonga
16 May 2019 – Aqef Waghiyi
Three days ago, got walrus 35 miles northeast. Forgot phone so no pictures. There was mixed big ice/high ice mixed with small chunks. North winds now, no good for boating.
Observations from Gambell
16 May 2019 – Clarence Irrigoo, Jr.
We went out on Sunday, see only bulls on a ice about 1 mile long. We see wind mill’s post from Savoonga. No ice since Monday, very windy and foggy.
Observations from Nome
17 May 2019 – Boogles Johnson
There has been no ice for the past week, we are sea ice free and also the Snake River is currently open.
Observations from Wales
17 May 2019 – Robert Tokeinna, Jr.
Since the ice has gone out, there has been flow ice, but has since slowly pass by continuing north. Lots of southerly to east winds with some northeast n west wind last week during a night or so. Lots of cranes means spring has come for Wales, seen some snow geese and Geese also with duck and more Snow birds. Lots of water around town. Creek has drained but up towards the airport has alot of water. Local boaters went out unsure of catch. This ends my observation.
Observations from Port Clarence and Brevig Mission
18 May 2019 – Marcus Barr
Yesterday the channel about 2.5 miles west opened up to the open water, the Port Clarence bay is not safe anymore. The edge of the open water is about 1/2 a mile west now.
Observations from Shishmaref
19 May 2019 – Curtis Nayokpuk
Bounty from the sea and air, Young hunters caught a young male walrus close to town. Flock after flock Snow Geese passing by all morning flying low from fog overcast making for other young hunters waiting having a field day duck hunting.
Returning hunters reported bearded seals in the area in remaining scattered ice. Sea rough the other day and open ice free sea for past few weeks.