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 23–27 May 2019

Synopsis High pressure will remain over much of the Bering and Chukchi through Friday. On Saturday a low pressure system will enter the eastern Bering Sea and remain through Monday.

Near St. Lawrence Island

There is an area of consolidated pack ice along the coast east of Savoonga that extends up to 0.25 nm from shore. The nearest sea ice to Gambell is open pack ice consisting of small floes approximately 30 nm northwest of Gambell.


The only sea ice near Nome is within Safety Harbor. This is the last update for the Nome area for 2019.

Brevig Mission/Port Clarence Area

The previously shorefast ice in Port Clarence continues to melt, with the nearest ice to Brevig Mission being approximately 3 nm south. Otherwise, the nearest sea ice is west of Big Diomede Island.

Wales to Shishmaref

A thin band of previously shorefast ice extending up to 1 nm from shore remains along the coast from near Wales to approximately 20 nm west of Shishmaref. A small band of very open pack ice lies approximately 30 nm west of Wales.

Little Diomede

A small band of very open pack ice consisting of brash ice lies approximately 8 nm west of Little Diomede.

Forecast Discussion

Ice Forecast

Remaining sea ice will continue to melt through the next week.

NWS ice forecast
NWS 5-day sea ice forecast

Wind Synopsis

Little Diomede to Wales to St. Lawrence Island:
On Friday, May 24th, expect south winds around 15 kt (17 mph) from Shishmaref to St. Lawrence Island and north winds 10 kt (12 mph) elsewhere. Winds will shift to the north 10 to 20 kt (12 to 23 mph) across the entire region by Saturday evening, May 25th. On Sunday, May 26th, winds will diminish to 5 to 15 kt (6 to 12 mph) with southeast winds across St Lawrence Island and northeast winds elsewhere. Winds will be variable around 10 kt (12 mph) Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, May 29th, north winds 10 to 20 mph (12 to 23 mph) will develop and persist through Friday, May 31st, with the strongest winds from Little Diomede to St. Lawrence Island.

Temperature Trend

High temperatures Friday, May 24th through Friday, May 31st will be in the upper 30's from Little Diomede to St. Lawrence Island and in the 40's to near 50 degrees at times elsewhere. Low temperatures will be in the 30's and lower 40's with coldest temperatures from Little Diomede to St. Lawrence Island.

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:

Wind maps are updated daily and can be viewed here:

Higher-resolution versions of satellite images can be viewed here:

Marine forecast for the West Coast and Arctic Coast

Remote Sensing Images

Bering Strait Wales to Shishmaref St. Lawrence Island

Observations and Comments

Observations of Sea Ice Development

Observations from Nome

23 May 2019 – Boogles Johnson

There will be no more sea ice reports from Nome, our port and harbor are now open. Have a happy summer and if there are any occurrences of sea ice I will let you know.

Observations from Port Clarence and Brevig Mission

23 May 2019 – Marcus Barr

There has been an open trail for boats to Teller and to the ocean maybe 3-4 days ago. The leftover ice is below Brevig about 3-4 miles south but breaking and going out daily.

UPDATE - 24 May 2019 – Marcus Barr

Today, the ice in the harbor is about 4 miles south but melting fast, breaking up and going fast. With south wind it’ll break easily. All shore ice had gone off few days ago. There is ice in our lagoon but not for long.

Observations from Savoonga

23 May 2019 – Aqef Waghiyi

On Monday there were walrus 15 miles NE of Savoonga. There was a little bit of ice, chunks of small ice that was not really too good. It was windy and rough. There is no ice now, kinda foggy today.

Savoonga 1
Sea ice and walrus near Savoonga

Savoonga 2
Sea ice and walrus near Savoonga

Observations from Shishmaref

24 May 2019 – Curtis Nayokpuk

Haven't been out hunting in last 2 to 3 weeks. A week ago some hunters were out but I've just been "watching" sat pics online if weather permits so I don't know if hunters see if there is any ice left out there? Everyone out hunting ducks now.

Observations from Gambell

24 May 2019 – Clarence Irrigoo, Jr.

Boats still hunting, once when we reach the ice we see some ayveqs and some other games. Wet and bumpy rides, always windy in Gambell.

Sea ice and walrus near Gambell

Gambell 2
Sea ice and walrus near Gambell

Gambell 3
Sea ice and walrus near Gambell