June 8th 2013
What the heck, I'm giving it another try (practice makes perfect):
The slow start I reported on in the previous update has continued, but as always in the Arctic there is more than meets the sensor. The slowness shows itself mostly in the area and extent numbers (changing as we speak), and the main culprit is that cyclone that refuses to go away.
I initially said this would be a relatively small cyclone, and even called it the Small Arctic Cyclone of 2013 in one of the two posts I devoted to it since the last ASI update, as a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Great Arctic Cyclone of 2012 (GAC-2012). But you know what? It ain't that small, and what's even more interesting: it just won't go away.
For over two weeks now it's been keeping things colder and cloudier over the central Arctic, but at the same time it's been shaking and stirring the ice, wherever it passes. Not to the point that it makes the ice disappear - this isn't August, most of the ice is still thick enough -, but it is showing how mobile the ice is, ripping holes in the ice pack that close up again once the storm has passed. It reminds me a bit of the 2010 melting season, when large regions with holes showed up in the middle of the ice pack.
So this cyclone is the big news of the melting season so far. Here's the rest.
Sea ice area (SIA)
Cryosphere Today sea ice area data had the trend line of 2013 way above all the others at the end of the month, but it seems that the limit has been reached. After a century break a couple of days ago a very big drop of almost 250K was reported today for June the 6th.
Here's the graph based on the latest data: