It's been a week since I announced that the ice in the Beaufort Sea was going to come under early pressure. Here's a quick update on what has happened so far, how the forecast played out, and what the short-term conditions for this part of the Arctic will be.
As expected, the Beaufort Gyre kicked into action, big time, with winds causing large cracks in the ice pack, moving it westwards and away from the Alaskan and Canadian coasts. The massive polynyas that are left behind, get partially covered with a thin veneer of ice.
Here's an animation showing the difference between LANCE-MODIS satellite images on the first of the month and two weeks later:
Quite impressive, isn't it? As if someone threw a giant brick into it.
Here's an animation showing all days between April 1st and 14th (the file is somewhat large, apologies if it loads slowly):