Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the Arctic summer storm is still there. After approximately 48 hours (which is long for an Arctic summer storm) it has weakened some compared to yesterday or the day before, but as far as I can see sea level pressure in the centre of the storm is still around 970 mb, which is low.
And so we're still seeing significant changes on the Uni Bremen sea ice concentration maps. Here's the animation from August 3rd to 7th:
That large patch of sea ice in the East Siberian Sea is almost entirely detached from the main ice pack. This is something I for one have never seen before, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's unprecedented in the satellite era. We have speculated a lot about this in previous melting seasons, but now the moment seems to have finally arrived. The fact that the ice pack can get divided like this, is yet another sign that the ice is exceptionally thin, as thin ice gets pushed around more easily and melts quicker, leaving open space between thicker, slower moving ice floes.
I've also updated the animation of DMI sea level pressure maps that shows the development and position of the storm:
We can see here that the sea level pressure in the centre of the storm is still around 970 mb, as corroborated by the National Weather Service discussion for Northern Alaska and Environment Canada (click the Preliminary Canada coverage maps one by one).
The effects of this storm on the sea ice concentration maps are in plain sight. Slowly sea ice area and extent data are trickling in and for now the changes are quite large. The sea ice extent chart from the Danish Meteorological Institute is showing huge drops and has almost reached a new record low. I'm still not sure if it's real or a fluke, so maybe this will be revised upwards in the coming days:
But the trend line on the IJIS sea ice extent chart is also dropping big time. Here's the latest graph without the last data point (that always gets revised the next day):
Here's the ECMWF weather forecast for the coming days (click for a larger version):
The Arctic summer storm - which perhaps will be known as the Great Arctic Cyclone of 2012, time will tell - is slowly falling apart, losing its strength and position. It still remains to be seen what the total effect of this storm will be on the sea ice. There's the churning, the transport, the waves, the Ekman pumping, but at the same time spreading of the pack that could cause rapid refreeze between floes when temps fall, and it's not entirely clear to me yet what the effect of this storm will be on air temperatures, which are now slowly coming into play and have a role in determining the end of the melting season, marked by the minimum size the sea ice cover reaches. Still a few weeks to go before that happens.
I might add some more updates today, but for now this is the last day of near real-time coverage of this event. More on the aftermath in this weekend's 2012 Arctic Sea Ice update. Thanks for all the comments, speculation and exchange of knowledge and ideas. Keep watching.
Cryosphere Today has reported the sea ice area number for August 6th, a drop of 53K. 2012 still well in the lead, and I'm expecting bigger drops tomorrow and/or the day after:
Cryosphere Today has also updated its sea ice concentration map, big changes: