906  
FZAK30 PAFC 232221  
ICOAFC  
 
SEA ICE OUTLOOK FOR WESTERN AND ARCTIC ALASKAN COASTAL WATERS  
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ANCHORAGE ALASKA  
110 PM AKST THURSDAY 23 JANUARY 2020  
   
..JANUARY 2020 MONTHLY SEA ICE OUTLOOK
 
 
THE SEA ICE GREW SIGNIFICANTLY IN THE BERING SEA AND COOK INLET  
THROUGH THE FIRST PART OF JANUARY AS VERY COLD AIR WAS OVER THE  
MAJORITY OF ALASKA AS WELL AS THE BERING AND CHUKCHI SEAS. THERE  
WERE SOME SOUTHERLY WINDS THAT CAUSED THE ICE PACK TO RETREAT  
ESPECIALLY IN THE WESTERN BERING SEA, AND SOME POLYNYAS FORMED OFF  
NORTH-FACING SHORELINES BY MID-JANUARY. COLD AIR RETURNED FOR THE  
LATTER PART OF THE MONTH, ALLOWING FOR SOME RECOVERY IN THE SEA ICE  
EXTENT AND THICKNESS.  
 
AS WE LOOK FORWARD THROUGH THE REMAINDER OF FREEZE-UP THROUGH APRIL,  
THE MAIN ICE PACK IN THE BERING SEA IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE TO  
FLUCTUATE AS LOWS ARE EXPECTED TO MOVE NORTH THROUGH THE BERING SEA  
FROM TIME TO TIME. OVERALL SEA ICE EXTENT WILL LIKELY REMAIN BELOW  
AVERAGE THROUGH THE REMAINDER OF THE ICE GROWTH SEASON. HOWEVER, SEA  
SURFACE TEMPERATURES HAVE CERTAINLY COOLED SOUTH OF THE ICE PACK. IF  
THERE IS ANOTHER PROLONGED PERIOD OF NORTHERLY WINDS AND ARCTIC AIR  
THE ICE PACK COULD BRIEFLY ADVANCE SOUTH OF SAINT MATTHEW ISLAND  
BEFORE THE MELT SEASON BEGINS IN EARNEST.  
 
DETAILED INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND IN EACH PERTINENT SECTION BELOW.  
   
..FREEZE-UP OUTLOOK FOR THE BERING SEA
 
 
THE MAIN ICE EDGE MAY REACH SAINT MATTHEW ISLAND DURING THE LAST  
WEEK OF JANUARY.  
 
IT REMAINS UNLIKELY THAT THE ICE EDGE WILL MAKE IT TO SAINT PAUL  
ISLAND THIS SEASON. THE ONLY EXCEPTION TO THIS IS IF NORTHERLY WINDS  
AND COLD AIR PERSIST FOR SEVERAL WEEKS DURING FEBRUARY AND/OR MARCH.  
   
..FREEZE-UP OUTLOOK FOR COOK INLET
 
 
AN ARCTIC AIRMASS HAS SETTLED OVER THE COOK INLET REGION FOR MOST OF  
THE MONTH OF JANUARY, AND THERE HAS BEEN SIGNIFICANT SEA ICE GROWTH  
AFTER A SLOW START TO THE SEASON. THIS AIRMASS IS EXPECTED TO REMAIN  
OVER THE AREA THROUGH AT LEAST THE END OF JANUARY. SEA ICE EXTENT  
WILL THEN LIKELY FLUCTUATE THROUGH FEBRUARY AND MARCH BEFORE BREAK-  
UP IN LATE MARCH THROUGH APRIL.  
 
SEA ICE IS EXPECTED TO REACH ANCHOR POINT BY THE FIRST WEEK OF  
FEBRUARY.  
   
..BREAK-UP OUTLOOK FOR COOK INLET
 
 
THE AREA SOUTH OF KALGIN ISLAND IS EXPECTED TO BE SEA ICE FREE BY  
THE SECOND WEEK OF MARCH.  
 
SOUTH OF THE FORELANDS IS EXPECTED TO BE SEA ICE FREE BY THE THIRD  
WEEK OF MARCH.  
 
FROM THE FORELANDS TO FIRE ISLAND, SEA ICE CONCENTRATION IS EXPECTED  
TO REACH 3 TENTHS BY THE END OF MARCH AND BE SEA ICE FREE BY THE  
MIDDLE OF APRIL.  
 
TURNAGAIN ARM IS EXPECTED TO BE SEA ICE FREE FOR THE SEASON BY THE  
FIRST WEEK OF APRIL.  
 
KNIK ARM IS EXPECTED TO REACH 3 TENTHS CONCENTRATION DURING THE  
SECOND OR THIRD WEEK OF APRIL AND BE SEA ICE FREE FOR THE SEASON BY  
THE END OF APRIL.  
 
COOK INLET OUTSIDE OF KNIK AND TURNAGAIN ARMS IS EXPECTED TO BE SEA  
ICE FREE FOR THE SEASON BY THE MIDDLE OF APRIL.  
 
COOK INLET IS EXPECTED TO BE SEA ICE FREE FOR THE SEASON DURING THE  
SECOND HALF OF APRIL.  
   
..BREAK-UP OUTLOOK FOR THE BERING SEA
 
 
BRISTOL BAY IS EXPECTED TO REACH 3 TENTHS CONCENTRATION BY THE FIRST  
WEEK OF APRIL AND BE SEA ICE FREE FOR THE SEASON BY THE MIDDLE OF  
APRIL.  
 
SEA ICE WITHIN KUSKOKWIM BAY IS EXPECTED TO NO LONGER BE SHOREFAST  
BY MID-APRIL. SEA ICE CONCENTRATION IS EXPECTED TO REACH 3 TENTHS  
DURING THE SECOND HALF OF APRIL, AND BE SEA ICE FREE FOR THE SEASON  
BY THE END OF APRIL.  
 
SEA ICE CONCENTRATION WITHIN ETOLIN STRAIT MAY REACH 3 TENTHS BY THE  
END OF APRIL.  
 
FROM CAPE ROMANZOF TO KWIKPAK, SEA ICE IS EXPECTED TO NO LONGER BE  
SHOREFAST DURING THE FIRST HALF OF APRIL. SEA ICE CONCENTRATION  
WITHIN 20 NM OF THE COAST WILL LIKELY REACH 3 TENTHS DURING THE  
FIRST HALF OF APRIL, AND MAY BECOME SEA ICE FREE FOR THE SEASON BY  
THE END OF APRIL.  
 

 
SCHRECK  
 
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