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1 hour ago, Steve Murr said:

152k loss yesterday ?

Record breaking highest May loss since daily records 2005

That's not good......

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The anomaly continues to grow, NSIDC extent now 570k below the next lowest year, and below the minima of 1979, 80, 81, 82, 83, 86, 86, 87, 88, 89, 92, 94, 96, 97 and 2001. We're 1 million km^2 below

Your more than welcomed to post on this thread but even if the UK does not always have the heat, sadly elsewhere across the globe most certainly does.  MIA - From what I gathered, you thought the

Using previous 20 years melt rates from August 26th, all produce the 2nd lowest minimum on record. Here's a slow animation from the last few days, highlighting the continued push north of t

Posted Images

The NSIDC is an average TWS as far as I understand. Another 87K droop reported today on Jaxa so extent is dropping quite rapidly

Regardless of extent though, I honestly believe there is a good chance the ice edge may reach the North pole, the whole Siberian side right to the the pole is first year ice, there are holes appearing all over the place, the laptev bite is now opening up too and all of the Siberian landmasses is running quite warm and snow cover retreat is very rapid. Usually I would say, a few warm spells on that side of the Arctic is not as disastrous as it would be if we had warm spells coming in from the Beaufort and have a dipole set up.

Its going to be a long old summer for the sea ice that is for sure. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Time for an update:

Extent is currently 3rd lowest on record with ice extent at record lows in the Kara Sea for the time of year. I'm not too sure how much an early retreat in the Kara sea really has on the ice in the southern parts of the Kara sea(where open water is most prevelant)these days tend to get seperated from the main pack but as we know, less sea ice tends to lead to less sea ice. 

The ice in the ESS is shocking really, only 2017 has it anything as bad but even then, there was more snow cover on the land masses and a little bit more fast ice. Its no surprises though, the constant positive AO has meant the wind just kept blowing away from the Siberian landmass and ice has struggled to thicken around here as a result. Does that mean the CAB ice might be a little thicker, time will tell on that one because export can balance any thickness gains in the CAB. 

Thankfully the ice in the Beaufort sea has not repeated last years large amount of open water and the ice extent in the Chukchi sea is a little further south than some previous years but we shall see if that will count for anything. I don't expect a huge amount of changes in the Beaufort in the short to medium term but with pressure remaining high, I do think melt ponds will become more widespread around here. 

I want to note for those who view the Breman charts then that yellow we see heading towards the Laptev is real, its not melt ponds but dispersion, I noticed more on today's worldview the ice is quite disperse(basically ice floes with bits of small open water in between), this could spell trouble for later on in the season, we saw how dispersion lead to the shocking looking ice conditions in 2016. Imo, disperse ice is worse than melt ponds as it makes it easier for any warmer waters to penetrate into the ice pack and melt it quicker than a compact ice pack. Of course this could look totally different in 2 weeks time but it's one to watch. 

It's ashame this thread is not busier at times, we always seem to be on a knife edge as far as sea ice melt is concerned, maybe this could be the year in terms of record lows even though I'm sure most on here will hope that is not the case. 

 

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16 hours ago, Geordiesnow said:

Time for an update:

Extent is currently 3rd lowest on record with ice extent at record lows in the Kara Sea for the time of year. I'm not too sure how much an early retreat in the Kara sea really has on the ice in the southern parts of the Kara sea(where open water is most prevelant)these days tend to get seperated from the main pack but as we know, less sea ice tends to lead to less sea ice. 

The ice in the ESS is shocking really, only 2017 has it anything as bad but even then, there was more snow cover on the land masses and a little bit more fast ice. Its no surprises though, the constant positive AO has meant the wind just kept blowing away from the Siberian landmass and ice has struggled to thicken around here as a result. Does that mean the CAB ice might be a little thicker, time will tell on that one because export can balance any thickness gains in the CAB. 

Thankfully the ice in the Beaufort sea has not repeated last years large amount of open water and the ice extent in the Chukchi sea is a little further south than some previous years but we shall see if that will count for anything. I don't expect a huge amount of changes in the Beaufort in the short to medium term but with pressure remaining high, I do think melt ponds will become more widespread around here. 

I want to note for those who view the Breman charts then that yellow we see heading towards the Laptev is real, its not melt ponds but dispersion, I noticed more on today's worldview the ice is quite disperse(basically ice floes with bits of small open water in between), this could spell trouble for later on in the season, we saw how dispersion lead to the shocking looking ice conditions in 2016. Imo, disperse ice is worse than melt ponds as it makes it easier for any warmer waters to penetrate into the ice pack and melt it quicker than a compact ice pack. Of course this could look totally different in 2 weeks time but it's one to watch. 

It's ashame this thread is not busier at times, we always seem to be on a knife edge as far as sea ice melt is concerned, maybe this could be the year in terms of record lows even though I'm sure most on here will hope that is not the case. 

 

Going by a few medium range outlooks by the GFS, the Beaufort sea and Baffin islands could be in danger of a rapid melt out, with blowtorch southerlies. That has been cropping up quite frequently.

The Laptev and Kara seas could soon be seeing even more big losses over the next week or so. The last thing we need is a dipole effect in June. 

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PIOMAS volume updated today. I’m not on my PC (on holiday... but not venturing far of course!) so will just provide a summary for now:

Overall story is one of the CAB faring well (as GS anticipated), while Beaufort and CAA are very slow to begin melting but the Asia-adjacent seas decline well ahead of usual, especially ESS which continues to be at a record pace.

 

N Asia looks unusually warm for the foreseeable so little relief for the adjacent seas.

Meanwhile, Beaufort looks to be persistently assaulted by anomalous warmth and high pressure. How it responds in the next week or so could be a crucial point in the 2020 melting season.

CAA also looks to become much warmer - heading above average - starting approx next Tue. Should put up a good fight, though.

Overall I continue to see the CAB as a big guard against a record low of area or extent, but Beaufort has become very uncertain. A top-3 minimum looks plausible unless the summer soon turns predominantly cool and cloudy.

A record low of volume will require something exceptional to occur - 2012 level. The CAB volume is currently 8th lowest on record by PIOMAS estimate.

Worth noting, mind, that DMI’s volume estimates have been much lower since mid-May, at or near record lows for the Arctic Ocean as a whole. So, we can’t be totally confident that PIOMAS is telling us the true story. It mainly makes sense to me based on the weather we saw in May, except that I was expecting the CAB to have been hit a bit harder by the extraordinary mid-May melt ponding event.

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I don't think the Beaufort is as warm as one may think, at least in terms of land temperatures, there is hints the wind may increase though than it is at present before perhaps the high recedes and we see lighter winds and perhaps cooler air. 

The weather too me on paper looks largely ice friendly, a fairly decent sized cyclone(but a slack one) with cold air embedded in it, coldest and cloudier weather for the Laptev and the CAB. The interesting aspect of the forecast is the cyclone may help via a high pressure cell bring in quite warm air towards the ESS however the cyclone could deflect it away somewhat, uncertainty in the forecast in that aspect. Thankfully there seems no hints the cyclone will rapidly intensify with warm and cold air clashing together so I'm guessing the jet over the basin is fairly weak at the moment. 

As for the volume numbers, the most thick ice seems to be for the CAB area towards the CAA, the ESS has apparently got the least volume on record and I think the ice from the pole towards Laptev flatters to deceive as perhaps demonstrated by the dispersion that I've noticed. 

I got to disagree that the huge high pressure cell during mid May caused widespread melt ponding, certainly not in the CAB although I won't argue snow melt may of occurred somewhat and temperatures whilst around freezing and touch below were well above average in the CAB. 

I wonder where Grey Wolf is, missing his contributions on here, wonder what his thoughts are so far. 

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The positive volume anomaly in the Beaufort Sea is quite impressive, but then the Beaufort gyre have been quite active in recent weeks, constantly feeding thick ice in from north of the Canadian Archipelago. The weather, as mentioned, looks like remaining consistently warmer than normal in the region for the foreseeable future, so it will be interesting to see how it holds up.
Another feature that looks like continuing is a rather moderate dipole, helping to ship the thicker ice out through the Fram strait. 

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It's been pleasing to see the weather patterns take on a much more ice-friendly pattern in the past week or so. Unfortunately, there are signs this won't last much longer.

image.thumb.png.01de1a3af843571a03cbe55469c2ee38.png

I realise the text is too small to easily read in this compiled set of charts but only a general sense of the pattern is required. What's shown are the MSLP (top) and 850 mb temp (bottom) averages for days 1-5 (left) and 6-10 (right), from the 00z Ensemble Prediction System (EPS) i.e. ECMWF ensembles.

There's a significant pattern shift from cold (well, mostly) low pressure across the CAB (great) to an Arctic Dipole pattern with low pressure on the Siberian side and high pressure on the other. Tends to be quite a sunny pattern away from the Asia-adjacent seas, with widespread anomalous warmth advecting over and then across from the Pacific side (as the 850s illustrate).

There's still time for the forecast to change substantially, which I really hope it does, because this is the sort of pattern that can produce a 'June cliff' in sea ice coverage while also hammering volume.

 

Longer-term, usual caveats apply, but this caught my attention earlier today:

CFSv2 is consistently predicting an extraordinary persistence of anomalous high pressure across Scandinavia through this summer. 

If it's near the mark (and bear in mind this model actually does a decent job these days, provided you look at the means of many runs rather than the individual fluctuations), the Atlantic side peripheral sea ice, including those ice cliffs near Svalbard, will have a lot to battle through. Pretty much the inverse of last summer.

Elsewhere, after an odd-looking June (averaging of contrasting halves perhaps?), July looks a bit troubling with hints of the dipole pattern akin to what I discussed earlier, but August looks alright with some low SLP anomalies on the Canadian side. Not that I should really be going into so much detail at that range!

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Although sometimes I do think low pressure is good for the ice and high pressure is bad is too simplistic and to some extent might not actually be true, I do admit some of the charts the GFS is producing look real shockers for the ice I'm afraid, very strong dipole being forecast. The ECM in particular whilst show a change to high pressure, it does develop small troughing so the dipole aat times struggles to form properly, this could be crucial for the ice as it may mean less winds and more cloud cover. 

Extent losses have started to creep up also, suspect some of that could be down to the Beaufort Gyre pushing the ice from the Beaufort and leaving larger amounts of open water. I do sometimes think compaction is not always a bad thing as it means less dispersion but the down side of course is if SSTS start to rise rapidly. 

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On 09/06/2020 at 01:11, Geordiesnow said:

Although sometimes I do think low pressure is good for the ice and high pressure is bad is too simplistic and to some extent might not actually be true, I do admit some of the charts the GFS is producing look real shockers for the ice I'm afraid, very strong dipole being forecast. The ECM in particular whilst show a change to high pressure, it does develop small troughing so the dipole aat times struggles to form properly, this could be crucial for the ice as it may mean less winds and more cloud cover. 

Extent losses have started to creep up also, suspect some of that could be down to the Beaufort Gyre pushing the ice from the Beaufort and leaving larger amounts of open water. I do sometimes think compaction is not always a bad thing as it means less dispersion but the down side of course is if SSTS start to rise rapidly. 

The theme is being continued in the models today. Strong dipole, widespread 850s above 0C, and certain sections around the Pacific side creeping above 10C. The familiar June cliff might well be arriving soon, and all while we're within touching distance of lowest extent for the time of year. Plenty to keep the ice watchers transfixed!

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Yep a tad surprised we have seen quite a few steepish drops as weather conditions are fairly favourable, even in the outer areas such as Baffin and Hudson Bay but hey ho, extent is more than likely will be near the bottom for all of the melt season especially as in some areas, the ice really does flatter to deceive. 

I do have a feeling in the next 3 to 4 weeks, we may see the affects of the thin ice in the ESS and the lack of fast ice there making its presence felt with early open water being quite widespread especially if this dipole does set up quite strongly.

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On 04/06/2020 at 20:36, Geordiesnow said:

I got to disagree that the huge high pressure cell during mid May caused widespread melt ponding, certainly not in the CAB although I won't argue snow melt may of occurred somewhat and temperatures whilst around freezing and touch below were well above average in the CAB. 

I was wondering, on the back of this analysis, how else the huge week-long drop then week-long rise in observed sea ice area could possibly be explained.

Turns out, I needn’t have worried:
 

(Never of the ASI Forum) received this in a mail from David Schröder, the scientist whose melt pond fraction model I would write a lot about on the ASIB:

Quote

Just submitted this year's prediction:

We predict the September ice extent 2020 to be 3.8 (3.3-4.3) million km2. This is the lowest prediction we have made based on spring melt pond fraction. The likehood is around 30% that this September extent will be a new minimum record. In our model simulation since 1979, May 2020 has the highest mean melt pond fraction for May including some unprecedented melt pond formation in the Central Arctic during 15-18 May when air temperature exceeded 0deg C.

 

...so, that exceptional spell in mid-May really did hit hard and in ways previously unthinkable for so early in the season. Ominous.

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25 minutes ago, Singularity said:

I was wondering, on the back of this analysis, how else the huge week-long drop then week-long rise in observed sea ice area could possibly be explained.

Turns out, I needn’t have worried:
 

(Never of the ASI Forum) received this in a mail from David Schröder, the scientist whose melt pond fraction model I would write a lot about on the ASIB:

Quote

Just submitted this year's prediction:

We predict the September ice extent 2020 to be 3.8 (3.3-4.3) million km2. This is the lowest prediction we have made based on spring melt pond fraction. The likehood is around 30% that this September extent will be a new minimum record. In our model simulation since 1979, May 2020 has the highest mean melt pond fraction for May including some unprecedented melt pond formation in the Central Arctic during 15-18 May when air temperature exceeded 0deg C.

 

...so, that exceptional spell in mid-May really did hit hard and in ways previously unthinkable for so early in the season. Ominous.

I still stand by what I said regarding the CAB, I did not see much evidence of melt ponding when looking at worldview. Infact even when you look through worldview, areas like the Beaufort sea, I would argue there was more blue ice in 2011 and 2015 especially the 2nd half of the month and this is something I said at the time. Alll that said, it was an exceptional set up and temperatures over the CAB was well above average

Also I still argue the theory dispersion is worse for the ice than melt ponds, especially long term and especially if disperse ice occurs at lower latitudes of the basin. Let's see if we do start seeing holes in the ice pack like we did in 2012 and 2016, if we do, then record lows increases quite a bit. 

It would seem the momentum has slowed down somewhat if albeit the ESS ice looks terrible but that is set to change in around 2 days time where a dipole will set up, some runs have it quite strong also and the main danger area does look like the ESS. And that polyna which is already huge near the ESS islands is going to get ever bigger and make inroads into the ice pack, the winds look perfect for this too happen. 

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Hmm, what to make of the outlook now - mixed impressions, to say the least.

Right now, the predicted Arctic dipole pattern is in place, with significant impacts on the sea ice expected. However, it's only going to last a few days before the pattern shifts again - briefer than the models originally suggested.

image.thumb.png.a4f1ae944e46df61d8f8e08414c6f933.pngimage.thumb.png.7a412a72a014173e1b0fd39fe958917e.png

 

This could be something to be relieved about, but I'm not sure - the new pattern is then one of a centrally placed cyclone, which can be great for protecting the hardest to melt regions of sea ice, but there's a strong signal in the ensembles for the cyclone to have a fair bit of spin to it, which brings the likelihood of some dispersion - which as GS has said, can cause trouble as ice is moved away from the hardest to melt region, toward peripheral seas.

Especially when those look to be under the influence of some exceptionally warm airmasses spilling over from the adjacent landmasses. Notably this includes CAA now, alongside the long-roasted section of Russian north slope east of Siberia.

image.thumb.png.72e58cec809f49eb7fcb98daf78482ac.pngimage.thumb.png.d9079020cef42facedd67f2ebb59eb90.png

Usually, this sort of pattern takes until at least late July to start being really bad for the sea ice, due to the typical time taken for the peripheral seas and land to heat up. This year is well ahead of that pace along most of the Asian side. Pacific side less so but still enough (or at least, becoming enough, where anomalous warmth and often clear skies have been ongoing for an unusually long time) to have some impact.

So, this might be a problematic pattern. Degree of dispersion is likely to be crucial - though even if it doesn't happen during this spell, added warmth to peripheral seas could bite later.

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I think with the cyclone is heading(towards the Beaufort) where the ice is a bit thicker, I don't think dispersion will be much of an issue, its also not forecast to go all that deep either. The problem I'm seeing more in the model runs is the struggle to break down the Siberian heat and it may even reenter the basin. 

The outlook for the basin is better but far from perfect and the ESS is in a shocking state. I can't see how extent won't remain amongst the lowest for a while yet because the ESS is poised for an early melt out, extent is at very low levels in the Kara and Baffin Bay and ice will continue to melt in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. 

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The modelling of the would-be-CAB low has proved very unreliable, with a strong adjustment toward a weaker low that moves on much quicker.

In its wake, hints of high pressure ridging across the CAB from either the American or Asian side. With areas of exceptionally high temps on both sides, a risk of unusual warmth being imported with such a ridge - something to watch.
 

In the meantime, the sheer coverage of anomalous warmth building during the past week has started to register in sea ice coverage measures, with extent falling at a near average rate despite being 2nd lowest and very close to lowest of all, while area plummets after the peculiar down-up sequence of mid-May to early June. Though it remains to be seen how much of that drop is down to melt ponding or general surface wetting this time around. At least some of it should be, now that we’re in the 2nd half of June.

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Rather interestingly, NSIDC 5 day average extent actually has 2020 just above 2012 whilst on the JAXA set, it's been below it and has not as of yet been above it so far this year, small margins but wonder why there is a difference there? 

I think it's too early to say what the weather will do after this low pressure system but as you say, the hints are the Canadian side is going to heat up and there does look like the potential of the CAA in particular having a hot spell next week which will be interesting as melt ponding has really got going here. The Siberian heat never goes away although the ESS may actually cool down but the Laptev sea still looks very warm so the risk of a ridge coming in with lots of heat will always be there. 

Also, nevermind the Laptev bite, the East Siberian islands bite is eye opening really. Huge polyna and unprecedented with only 2014 coming close but at least then the ESS ice was healthy and there was lots of fast ice. Going to be interesting how this gaping hole plays a part in this year's ice shape. 

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image.thumb.png.9982105d0b0b6eb1f5bf4522af0ae8fa.pngimage.thumb.png.ce532089c43dd9a0619c3958c555aaf9.png 

What in sanity's name is this? ?

There's been a strong multi-model trend toward this in the past couple of days. ECM & GFS 12z runs of today are both fairly similar with respect to the exceptional high over the Atlantic side of the Arctic in 5-7 days time.

They also show widespread high pressure persisting across the Arctic Ocean until day 10, but as we know, they're not to be trusted at that range. Even the 6-day range I've put in this post is usually pushing it a little - but with such a large, stand-out feature and multi-model support, I think it can be considered a probable outcome now.

This setup brings widespread anomalous warmth incursions and clear skies across the Atlantic half of the Arctic Ocean, with a feed across the CAB from Greenland - ripe for strong adiabatic warming (foehn effect) off the northern slopes of the Greenland ice sheet. Part of how the Atlantic-side high fills with so much above-zero air aloft (which will tend to descend and warm further under such strongly anticyclonic conditions).

The models even have the high reaching across parts of the Pacific side at times, restricting ice-friendly conditions to small areas. Remains to be seen whether the pattern will actually become quite that extraordinary.


I'm not going to hit a metaphorical big red panic button just yet, as the specifics remain to be sorted and I've only had time to get a broad sense of the implications of this unusual event.

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I have to say it is an interesting outlook but for me, from what I seen, it's set ups that should favour the Arctic ice and the set ups that could happen is my example of high pressure should not mean bad news for ice.

The high is projected to be over the pole/near to Svalbard so fram export looks very minimal(Infact fram export should be minimal from now until the foreseeable). How long the high stick around is uncertain at this range but again, sun strength at the pole is weaker than lower latitudes and albedo is lower as we don't have true open water at the pole. Plus plenty of troughing at lower latitudes of the basin which should bring cloudier conditions. 

I accept about the Foehn affect from the terrains in Greenland however in terms of losing extent, warm air from there won't affect that but we may see ice lifting from the Greenland coast which will excite people and become headline news. 

Problem is, despite the favourable set ups, heat still hangs on in the Laptev which is lowest on record and I get the feeling cooler air in the ESS is a bit too little to late unfortunately and that also is lowest on record at the moment. 

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That's an interesting way of looking at it.

In my experience tracking past events, the sun is plenty capable of forcing significant surface melt over the Central Arctic Basin between mid-June and late July. This is more of a long-term hit, admittedly - it doesn't necessarily cause low coverage during the same melting season. It can assist in the progress of 'bites' extending from the Atlantic and Asian sides, though.

If the high is positioned as is being predicted, a strong airflow from Greenland to the Asian side should move some of the sea ice in that direction, toward sun-warmed waters and where it will be vulnerable to stronger sunlight if the pattern changes back to assaulting the periphery strongly within the next few weeks.

So, to be honest, I really can't see a strong Central to Atlantic-side high being of overall benefit to the Arctic sea ice. If we see a weaker high instead with light winds around it and less clear sky within, then sure, that can help the ice out if its in such a position. Not much sign of an adjustment toward that on the morning runs but still time for it yet.


Having done enough reading to warrant a sincere apology to my eyes, I've reached a conclusion that broadly speaking, an ice-friendly June or July pattern is one that features weak highs and lows in a predominantly cloudy state. Light winds are a big part of this, as they allow moisture feedbacks from open water to promote increased cloudiness, while preventing much transport of warmth and moisture across the ice from outside the Arctic Ocean.

Stronger lows can (but don't always) bring issues of stronger heat and moisture imports. If vigorous enough, they may disperse the sea ice, perhaps even cause some mechanical breakdown if the ice is thin enough.

Strong highs bring anticyclonic descent within their cores, meaning a lot of clear sky and relatively warm near-surface air (just how warm depending on the airmass aloft) due to adiabatic warming. Around them, broad swathes of strong winds can bring about more overall sea ice motion than a strong low, due to tending to have larger stretches of straight-line winds or close to it. Sometimes, useful compaction occurs from a volume-storing perspective, but these days, that tends to come at great cost, as there's often considerably anomalous heat available to be brought across by that wind swathe.

 

For me, the question at hand is not will it be damaging to the sea ice, but how damaging will it be. 

Unless the predicted high pressure is weakened, I'll be very surprised to see the ice benefit from it overall - but I won't rule out the dynamics being different to what I've outlined above, with the lack of Fram export counteracting the damage elsewhere. I'm only human, after all.

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With the recent outputs, I can’t say I’ve ever seen anything like it, at such a vulnerable time of the year. Record breaking warmth from Siberia spilling over into the laptev and ESS, and blowtorch conditions in the Baffin islands along with a foehn effect over the top of Greenland. 

The dipole effect also looking to possibly mix out and flush out any uppers below -5c completely... 

I can’t do anything but pray for ice this year I’m afraid, as it stands. 

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55 minutes ago, East_England_Stormchaser91 said:

With the recent outputs, I can’t say I’ve ever seen anything like it, at such a vulnerable time of the year. Record breaking warmth from Siberia spilling over into the laptev and ESS, and blowtorch conditions in the Baffin islands along with a foehn effect over the top of Greenland. 

The dipole effect also looking to possibly mix out and flush out any uppers below -5c completely... 

I can’t do anything but pray for ice this year I’m afraid, as it stands. 

We could always balance it out and say conditions are chilly and cloudier across the Chukchi/Beaufort sea with more ice in these areas than last year especially and the forecast is for the Chukchi in particular to remain chilly with that persistent trough. That same trough will finally bring much colder conditions across the ESS although I do feel its too little too late for some of the ice there. 

There's no disputing pressure will rise near the pole and we may see ice lifting off the coastlines in the CAA and Greenland(which perhaps rightly will be headline news) and there will be a fohen affect but in general, I seen far worse conditions for the ice than whats coming up. Of course, it could turn quite bad especially if the high sticks around and links up to any ridges from the land masses but short to medium term, it really is nothing to write home about. 

I'm looking out for dispersion in the ice pack and how they develop, there is some on the Atlantic side of the basin and it will be interesting how that plays out. Sadly that trough on the Pacific side did indeed end up more deeper than first forecast so I do have a feeling we may see signs of dispersion in the Beaufort and Chukchi when the clouds clear.

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