Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook Archive

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

This will be the last Outlook of the 2019 Season. Thanks to all local observers and partners for their contributions! Click the name of each community below to view more frequently updated and detailed information from the National Weather Service. Forecast Synopsis for 30 May – 3 June 2019 Synopsis A low pressure system will rotate near the Bristol Bay area through Friday while weak and broad low pressure remains over the mainland. Near St. Lawrence Island The closest sea ice is open water along the Russian coast, approximately 30 nm northwest of Gambell. Nome Sea ice free. Brevig Mission/Port Clarence Area The previously shorefast ice in Port Clarence continues to melt, with the nearest ice to Brevig Mission being approximately 8 nm south, pushed toward the southern shore of Port Clarence. Wales to Shishmaref A small band of very open pack ice consisting of small floes lies...

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. Nome 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...

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. Nome The nearest sea ice to Nome is within Safety Harbor and Golovin Bay. There is also a band of open pack ice consisting of...

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 9–13 May 2019 Synopsis . Low pressure will remain over the eastern Bering Sea through Saturday. On Sunday, another low pressure system will move northward from over the mainland. This low pressure system will move into the Bering and Chukchi seas on Monday. Near St. Lawrence Island Strips of sea ice extend from approximately 3 nm west of Gambell northwest to the Russian coast, consisting of ice cakes to medium floes. Some shorefast ice remains along the northeast coast, east of Savoonga, and extends out up to one nm. Northeast of Savoonga, an area of sea ice begins from about 17 nm from Savoonga and extends north to the Bering Strait. This area of sea ice is approximately 25 nm wide and consists of small to vast floes. There may be some...

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 2–7 May 2019 Synopsis . Low pressure will persist across the southwest Bering Sea through Friday before dissipating. Another low will move northward through the eastern Bering Sea Wednesday through Saturday. Otherwise, high pressure will generally persist across the mainland. Near St. Lawrence Island Sea ice is generally open to very open pack ice consisting of ice cakes to medium floes from St. Lawrence Island north. The highest concentration ice is to the north and east of Savoonga where there is some close pack ice to consolidated pack ice consisting of medium to big floes. Nome Ice conditions consist of mainly open water in the Nome vicinity. There is an area of open pack ice approximately 12 nm offshore from Nome. Brevig Mission/...

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 25 – 29 April 2019 Synopsis . High pressure will generally persist across the Arctic as well as the Bering Sea through Thursday. Both highs will begin to move eastward Thursday, continuing through Saturday as several lows move northward into the western Bering Sea. Near St. Lawrence Island Northerly winds have continued to bring the main area of consolidated pack ice consisting of big to giant floes against the northern coast. Open water exists from roughly 16 nm to the north/northwest of Gambell, and continues around to the southwest of Gambell. Along the western edge of the pack ice, some old ice has been identified on satellite imagery as well as by observers. The old ice consists of small to medium floes within the very close pack...

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 18 – 22 April 2019 Synopsis . High pressure will generally persist across the Arctic as well as the southwest Bering Sea, while low pressure remains over the Alaska mainland through Monday. Near St. Lawrence Island Northerly winds have continued to bring the main area of consolidated pack ice consisting of big to giant floes toward the coast. From Gambell south, some additional sea ice has drifted southward as much as 87 nm south of Gambell. Similarly, from Camp Kulowiye, some thicker sea ice has drifted southward up to 54 nm. New sea ice has formed south of the island up to 55 nm from shore with ice cakes and small floes. To the west of Gambell, the consolidated pack ice extends up to 2 nm from shore, then close pack ice consisting of...

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 11 – 15 April 2019 Synopsis . A strong low pressure will continue to move into the Bering Sea from the north Pacific. That system will weaken and move into the Gulf of Alaska on Friday, while a new system will enter the Bering on Saturday. Near St. Lawrence Island Northerly winds have brought the main area of very close pack ice back to the coast. The pack ice is up against the coast from Gambell through Ataakas Camp at which point there is very open pack ice through roughly Lietnik where open water begins. The very close pack ice extends at least 40 nm to the north, except for west/north of Gambell where some close pack ice exists with anywhere from small to vast floes. The open water continues around the east side and southerly sides...

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 4 April – 8 April 2019 Synopsis . High pressure will reside over the Arctic while low pressure remains in the North Pacific/Gulf of Alaska. Near St. Lawrence Island The main area of very close pack ice is between Gambell and Savoonga, extending up to 32nm from the coast. West of Gambell is close pack ice with small to big floes extending 15 to 20nm west of Gambell. East of Savoonga is open to very open pack ice with strips of ice, then open water. There are a couple areas of very close pack ice south and east of the island with medium to big floes, and otherwise some strips of open pack ice and open water. Nome A polynya extends 1 to 1.5nm from the Nome coast and east to Solomon. Very close pack ice with small to medium floes extends...

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 28 March – 1 April 2019 Synopsis . High pressure will remain over much of mainland Alaska through Saturday. Low pressure near Kamchatka will keep much of the area under southerly flow. Near St. Lawrence Island Recent southerly flow has really changed the nature of ice around the island. Very little shorefast ice is left, mainly along the north side of the island, several pockets of discontinuous along the coast. The remainder of the ice off the north coast is very open pack ice with big floes. All along the southern coast, very close pack ice exists where the southerly flow has shoved ice against the shore. For the east, west, and south of the island, close pack ice exists with medium to big floes. Nome The ice around Nome does not...

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

State of the Ice at Season’s Start Contributed by Matthew Druckenmiller (National Snow and Ice Data Center and SEARCH Sea Ice Action Team ) & Hajo Eicken (University of Alaska Fairbanks) As we entered 2019, few thought that the Bering Sea would see another winter like last year . But, this assessment did not hold for long. Between mid-January through early-March, the Bering Sea experienced an astonishing decline in sea ice coverage (see Figure 1), and by late February had dropped below the record low ice levels of 2018. Typically, this is a time of year when the Bering Sea ice cover is still advancing and building towards maximum coverage in the middle to end of March. The winter of 2019, however, was marked by the same large fluctuations in ice coverage and storm activity that defined 2018. Figure 1. Sea ice extent in the Bering Sea in millions of square kilometers for the last two...

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 14–18 March 2019 Synopsis . Low pressure will remain over the eastern to northern Bering Sea through Monday with high pressure remaining over eastern Russia. Near St. Lawrence Island Compact to consolidated ice pack extends from the north coast of St. Lawrence Island generally to the Bering Strait. Close ice pack with medium to big floes extends from both the east and west coasts of the island, into Russian waters to the west and up to 25 nm from the east coast. A polynya has formed on the south and southeast sides of the island, extending from 4 to 15 nm offshore. This polynya is filling in with new sea ice. Nome Shorefast ice extends up to one half nm from shore to the west of Nome. A polynya has formed from the Nome coast up to 3nm...

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. Near St. Lawrence Island The waters surrounding St. Lawrence Island are sea ice free. Nome The waters around Nome are sea ice free. The 2018 SIWO season has ended for this area as of 10 May. Wales to Shishmaref There is a small area of ice approximately 11 nm northeast of Wales. The nearest pack ice is about 90 nm north of Wales and 70 nm northwest of Shishmaref. Otherwise, waters surrounding the Wales to Shishmaref coastline are sea ice free. Diomede The waters around Diomede are ice free. Forecast Discussion Ice Forecast Waters will remain open or sea ice free. NWS 5-day sea ice forecast Wind Synopsis South to southwest winds 5 to 15 kt (6 to 17 mph) on Friday, June 1st will be strongest through the Bering Strait near Diomede. Winds will increase on...

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. Near St. Lawrence Island The waters surrounding St. Lawrence Island are sea ice free. There is some remaining open water--with ice concentration less than 1/10--approximately 40 to 50 nm northeast of Gambell. Nome The waters around Nome are sea ice free. The 2018 SIWO season has ended for this area as of 10 May. Wales to Shishmaref Open water extends approximately 12 nm offshore from Shishmaref. Beyond that is ice free to Russian waters. Diomede The waters around Diomede are ice free. There are areas of open water along either mainland coast. Forecast Discussion Ice Forecast Waters will remain open or sea ice free. NWS 5-day sea ice forecast Wind Synopsis Northeast winds 15 to 20 kt (17 to 25 mph) on Friday, May 25th will be strongest through the Bering...

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. Near St. Lawrence Island The waters surrounding St. Lawrence Island are sea ice free. There is some remaining close pack ice ranging from brash ice to big floes approximately 40 to 50 nm north of Gambell. Nome The waters around Nome are sea ice free. The 2018 SIWO season has ended for this area as of 10 May. Wales to Shishmaref Open water extends approximately 7 nm offshore from Shishmaref. Beyond that is close pack ice comprised of medium to vast floes extending 15 to 20 nm offshore. Vast to giant floes of very close pack ice remain along the coast from Wales to 25 nm southwest of Shishmaref. This ice extends 5 to 10 nm offshore, with open water beyond that. Diomede Open pack ice comprised of vast to giant floes is present along the northern coast of...

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. Near St. Lawrence Island The only sea ice remaining around St. Lawrence Island is near Naskak Camp and along the coast near Camp Iveetok. Otherwise, waters to 30 nm away from the island are sea ice free. This will be the last update for the 2018 SIWO season for this area. Nome The only sea ice remaining near Nome is very open pack ice with brash ice 20 nm west of Nome. This area is otherwise sea ice free. This will be the last update for the 2018 SIWO season for this area. Wales to Shishmaref Shorefast ice extends approximately 0.5 to 1 nm northwest of the coast from Wales to Shishmaref. Close pack ice with big to vast floes remains offshore from Wales to 30 nm northeast of Wales, with open water up to 30 nm offshore from Shishmaref. Diomede Diomede Island...

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. Near St. Lawrence Island Big to giant floes of open pack ice are present off the north-central coast of St. Lawrence Island, extending approximately 1 to 20 nm offshore between Savoonga and Ataakas Camp. The waters surrounding the rest of the island are sea ice free. Nome Giant floes of very close pack ice extend 1 to 1.5 nm offshore near Nome. Beyond that is 1-3 nm of close brash ice, followed by open water and sea ice free conditions beyond that. Wales to Shishmaref Shorefast ice extends approximately 0.5 to 1 nm northwest of the coast from Wales to Shishmaref. Big to vast floes of open to close pack ice are present up to 25 nm offshore beyond the shorefast ice, with open water beyond that. Diomede Diomede Island is surrounded by open water. Forecast...

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. Near St. Lawrence Island There is a giant flow of close pack ice off the northwest coast of the island, extending from 3 nm east of Gambell to 17nm east of Gambell. There is also open pack ice extending up to 5 nm offshore from the north-central coast of the island, beginning approximately 12 nm east of Savoonga. Otherwise, open water surrounds the remainder of St. Lawrence Island. Nome Very open pack ice with medium to vast floes extends up to 6 nm offshore from Nome, then close pack ice comprised of vast to giant floes extends up to 30 nm offshore beyond that. Wales to Shishmaref Shorefast ice extends up to 1.5 nm northwest of the coast from Wales to Shishmaref. Beyond the shorefast ice is 20 to 30 nm of open pack ice, then very close pack ice with vast to...

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. Near St. Lawrence Island There is very open ice pack to the north and east of Savoonga with medium to vast floes. Otherwise open water surrounds St. Lawrence Island. Nome Shorefast ice extends up to 2 nm offshore from Nome, then 1 to 2 nm of very open pack ice with small to big floes. Beyond the very open pack ice is widespread very close pack ice with vast to giant floes. Wales to Shishmaref Shorefast ice extends up to 1.5 nm northwest of the coast from Wales to Shishmaref. Beyond the shorefast ice is 8 to 10 nm of very open pack ice, then very close pack ice with vast to giant floes beyond that. Diomede Open pack ice surrounds Diomede Island with medium to vast floes. Forecast Discussion Ice Forecast Sea ice will drift southwestward through Wednesday,...

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. Near St. Lawrence Island Across the eastern end of the island there is an area that is 45 miles wide, stretching from Nome, to 50 miles south of the island. This contains very close pack ice that includes primarily big to vast floes up to 28 inches thick. West of Lietnik (including Gambell and Savoonga), there is open water mainly west of Lietnik. North and east of Lietnik is widespread close to very close pack ice. Nome Shorefast ice extends up to 2 nm offshore from Nome. Beyond the shorefast ice is very close pack ice that extends 50 nm south, 8 nm east and 80 miles to the west. This very close pack ice consists of small to giant floes. Wales to Shishmaref Shorefast ice extends up to 2 nm northwest of the coast from Wales to Shishmaref. Beyond the...

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. Near St. Lawrence Island South of the island, there is a polynya that extends 18 to 32 nautical miles (nm) south that has begun to fill in with new (0-4 inches thick) ice, then there is an area 20 to 25 nm wide of close to very close pack ice that includes primarily big to vast floes up to 28 inches thick. To the west and north of Gambell and Savoonga, there is open water mainly west of Lietnik. East of the island is widespread close to very close pack ice. Nome Shorefast ice extends up to 2 nm offshore from Nome. Beyond the shorefast ice is a polynya extending 4 to 16 nm that is quickly filling in with new sea ice. There is widespread very close pack ice consisting of small to giant floes to the south of the polynya. Wales to Shishmaref Shorefast ice...

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. Near St. Lawrence Island South of the island, there is a polynya that extends 3 to 12 nm south that has begun to fill in with new (0 to 4 inches thick) and young (4 to12 inches thick) ice, then there is an area 8 to 14 nm wide of very close pack ice that includes primarily big to vast floes up to 28 inches thick. South of this area is an area of close pack ice up to 20 nm wide with strips of ice. To the west and north of Gambell, there is very close pack ice consisting of new ice then an area of very open pack ice beyond that. To the north of Savoonga, very close pack ice extends 2 to 4 nm from shore, then there is an extensive area of close to very close pack ice. East of the island is widespread close to very close pack ice. Nome The forecast has not yet...

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

State of the Ice at Season’s Start Contributed by Matthew Druckenmiller (National Snow and Ice Data Center and SEARCH Sea Ice Action Team ) & Hajo Eicken (University of Alaska Fairbanks) The sea ice cover in the Bering and southern Chukchi seas got off to a remarkably late start in fall 2017. The Chukchi Sea was not ice-covered (> 95% ice concentration) until December 31, which was the latest ever observed since the satellite record began in 1978 (see Figure 1). During late fall, this permitted storms to take a toll on communities. During a storm with sustained 50-65 mph winds that began on November 11, the village of Kotzebue experienced localized coastal flooding and the break-up of their shorefast ice, which at the time was about one foot thick. During this same storm, Shishmaref, which lacked shorefast ice, lost a roadway to their landfill along a stretch of coast unprotected by...

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. Near St. Lawrence Island The polynya on the north side of the island has filled in with very close pack ice (thicker young and first year thin) as northwesterly winds have pushed the pack against the coast. The very close pack ice is mainly big and vast floes. On the west side of the island the ice is new and young ice, but close pack ice. The south side of the island is mainly new and young ice as well, with a polynya between Silook Camp and Siknik Training Camp. Nome The forecast has not yet begun in this region for the 2018 season. Please check back later for updates. Wales to Shishmaref The forecast has not yet begun in this region for the 2018 season. Please check back later for updates. Little Diomede The forecast has not yet begun in this region for...

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. 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...