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Tony Duncan

So, what is the explanation for this? I read about the large amounts of snow in Alaska. Has it been very cold there this winter? Is this going to mean that it will take longer for the ice above the Bring Strait to melt?


Could very well be, Tony. Of course all the ice is first year ice, so weather conditions could make it disappear fast. I'll be sure to do posts on it with comparisons to other years when things have gotten underway for a while.


Tony Duncan asked:

Has it been very cold there this winter?

"Has been" is a rather impropriate statement, as it still is very, very cold, very deep under average in Alaska and the Bering Sea region.

At this moment - 33 °C at Barrow, -9 °C at Anchorage, -26 °C at Wales (Tin City).
No less than -11 @ -15 °C cooler than the avaverage!

Going on for virtual 3 months now, and it doesn't seem to come to an end yet.

Nick Barnes

Off-topic: I looked at the mosaic today for the first time in weeks and stuff is happening all over. The Bering Strait is flushing out, there's some quite dramatic break-up happening north of Franz Josef Land, up to at least 86 degrees and possibly all the way to the pole, and (less easy to discern) the western end of the NWP, north of Banks Island, seems to be breaking up. This all seems very early to me.


Nick have you compared to last year

That is slightly earlier in 2011.

No problem agreeing that around Franz Josef is very low this year.

Bering and Baffin however have much greater extent and NW passage was more broken up last year. Bering does perhaps look a little thin but given much greater extent, I think it will be slow clearing out this year not fast.


Same image, with all 60 megapixel zoomable:


Quite strange to see the cloud streets appearing over the ice. Concentration is too low to call it an isolation.

Try to go full screen (F11).

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