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When will the Beaufort Polynya connect with Bering Strait?

Before June 1 (this poll closes May 30 in the Americas)
5 (7.6%)
June 1-7
23 (34.8%)
June 8-17
25 (37.9%)
June 18-30
8 (12.1%)
July
5 (7.6%)

Total Members Voted: 66

Voting closed: May 30, 2019, 07:36:14 PM

Author Topic: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water  (Read 8731 times)

Tor Bejnar

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Functionally, when will it (first) be possible to sail a non-icebreaker all along the Alaskan (northern) coast (not counting fast ice) this year?
No changing of votes, and to be a 'winner' (at the expense of Arctic ice) with Option 1 [< June 1], you have to have posted your guess prediction before it [ice lifting off coast] actually happens.  I'll let Neven be the impartial determiner of when the Alaskan coast area is deemed clear enough of ice.  (If he doesn't post it in this thread, we'll figure out his opinion from his postings elsewhere.)

For those interested in what happened in the Beaufort, back in 2016 (so as to compare to this year's situation), I wrote about it extensively on the ASIB. Here's a blog post from May 21st, with links to previous blog posts in the first paragraph.

One thing I wondered about back then, and do again now:

Quote
The other thing is that there is actually not that much ice left between the large polynya (expanse of open water) in the Beaufort Sea and the smaller one in the Chukchi Sea:



Once this ice is gone, there will be open water all along the American coast of the Arctic Ocean. My guess is this could happen within two weeks or maybe even faster, which would be extremely early, given that the earliest time this has happened in the past decade (and probably much, much beyond that), was between July 1st and 7th in both 2009 and 2011.

My guess turned out to be wrong. It also took until the first week of July for open water to take over all along the Alaskan-Canadian coast.

But how about this year? Here's a comparison:



The maps look very similar, so much so that one would be tempted to think there is something causing the ice to stay glued to the coast, all the way up to Utqiaġvik. But there's no "Chukchi polynya" now, with open water all the way to the Pacific and far into the Chukchi, meaning there is less ice to be blown back towards the coast, should the winds turn.

And the winds are another similarity. Both the weather forecast back then and the one this year show a change in the set-up that caused the early Beaufort opening, around the same time. However, this year there may be a return to that set-up next week.

So, wondering if there will be open water all along the Alaskan-Canadian coast before July this year...
« Last Edit: May 23, 2019, 07:59:28 PM by Tor Bejnar »
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2019, 07:48:48 PM »
Cross post that got me to create this poll:
The fast ice at Barrow doesn't appear as resilent as in 2016.

it will be gone very soon, one morning we wake up and it will be no more, i predict within days, rather than weeks.

my guess: 3-6 days from now but that's a guess based on the images of the webcam, one can't see the exact thickness.

I might be inclined the agree with your you. Given that there is something stubborn about that patch, I'm going to guess 1-2 weeks.
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Juan C. García

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2019, 07:49:56 PM »
June 8-17
Which is the best answer to Sep-2012 ASI lost (compared to 1979-2000)?
50% [NSIDC Extent] or
73% [PIOMAS Volume]

Volume is harder to measure than extent, but 3-dimensional space is real, 2D's hide ~50% thickness gone.
-> IPCC/NSIDC trends [based on extent] underestimate the real speed of ASI lost.

Rich

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2019, 08:01:33 PM »
June 1-7.

I think it will be possible to sail a non-breaker Friday from CAA to the Laptev by end of June.

magnamentis

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2019, 08:05:36 PM »
Cross post that got me to create this poll:
The fast ice at Barrow doesn't appear as resilent as in 2016.

it will be gone very soon, one morning we wake up and it will be no more, i predict within days, rather than weeks.

my guess: 3-6 days from now but that's a guess based on the images of the webcam, one can't see the exact thickness.

I might be inclined the agree with your you. Given that there is something stubborn about that patch, I'm going to guess 1-2 weeks.

i voted 1-7th of june in this thread while i predicted a few days for the fast ice at barrows.
to make sure there is no misunderstanding, the post that made you open this thread does not refer to the same part of the cost like the one you quoted. not saying you're not aware but wanna make sure that.

we were talking about below linked and illustrated stretch of coast:

https://seaice.alaska.edu/gi/observatories/barrow_webcam/

it's a bit foggy (intermittently heavy) so just come back if the image you look at is not of
satisfactory quality ;) i expect sunbeams breaking through later today once temps get beyond dewpoint. Expected high is around 6C
« Last Edit: May 23, 2019, 09:26:16 PM by magnamentis »
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2019, 08:18:07 PM »
Thanks for the clarification, Magnamentis.  Not a problem!
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Jim Hunt

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2019, 08:44:37 PM »
Here's the current National Weather Service sea ice map for Alaskan waters, plus their current forecast:

Quote
FORECAST FOR THE CHUKCHI SEA (Days 1 through 5)...

Winds generally be light and variable through Monday. The ice pack will likely drift
southward 15 to 25 nm through Monday while continuing to melt/decay.

...BREAK-UP OUTLOOK FOR THE BEAUFORT SEA...

Looking at the big picture for the Beaufort Sea break-up, sea ice
has begun to melt from the Mackenzie River Delta westward into
Alaska waters. Break-up will continue from the east and to a lesser
extent from the west, with ice beyond the shorefast ice likely
melting before the shorefast ice break off and melts. As stated at
the beginning of the sea ice outlook, multi-year sea ice currently
north of approximately 72N may drift southward into navigational
waters through August.

From Point Barrow to Demarcation Point, sea ice is expected to no
longer be shorefast by the first week of July. There is some multi-
year ice on the northern edge of the shorefast ice, mainly noted
between Point Barrow and Cape Halkett. This ice will likely take
longer to break away and melt.

Beyond the shorefast ice from Flaxman Island to Demarcation Point to
72N, sea ice is expected to reach 3 tenths concentration during the
first half of August.

Beyond the shorefast ice from Pt. Barrow to Cape Halkett to 72N sea
ice is expected to reach 3 tenths concentration for the season
during the first half of August. It is possible that this area will
become sea ice free for the season by the end of August, however
this is highly dependent on local weather patterns and how fast the
multi-year ice in this area melts.

Does anybody want to change their mind?
« Last Edit: May 23, 2019, 08:52:11 PM by Jim Hunt »
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Stephan

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2019, 09:07:19 PM »
I guess last week of June...

gerontocrat

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2019, 09:07:45 PM »
Temperatures above freezing + some sunshine.
Prudhoe Bay forecast attached.
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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2019, 09:19:41 PM »
after a few days a strong easterly may develop .. if it is from south of east .. then the end of May is not impossible unfortunately .. ( not talking @ our prime minister who is determined to limp into June :) ) b.c.
2007 + 5 = 2012 + 4 = 2016 + 3 = 2019 ...

Neven

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2019, 09:42:44 PM »
My finger itched to vote for June 1-7, but I'll go for 8-17.

Quote
I'll let Neven be the impartial determiner of when the Alaskan coast area is deemed clear enough of ice.

I'm happy to be convinced, but the argument has to be based on Uni Bremen sea ice concentration maps, as can be found on the ASIG.
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Comradez

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2019, 11:07:39 PM »
After looking at the worldview imagery of this region in June and July of 2012 and 2016, I've noticed some patterns:
1.  This ice never gets pushed north away from the coast by wind or currents.  The ice on either side of it does, in the Beaufort and Chukchi proper, but right it this area on the border between the two seas it just doesn't.  In fact, if anything this ice has a tendency to be pushed into the coast and replenished from the north, east, and west.  Something most be going on with ocean currents and subsea topography there.  Which brings me to...
2.  Hanna Shoal.  If you look at the region on July 22nd and July 23rd of 2012 and rock the image back and forth, it is obvious that one icefield located right near Hanna Shoal does not move along with the rest of the pack...and in fact, it never moves the entire season!  It eventually melts out in September, so I doubt it was an iceberg.  The ocean must be exceptionally shallow at that spot to ground a <2 meter icefield.  This topography could be protecting the ice in the area. 

Long story short, the Chukchi could get torched all the way to Wrangel Island, and the Beaufort ice pushed halfway across the Central Arctic Basin, and yet I think there will still be ice in this border region between the two seas well into July because that ice basically has no choice but to melt in-situ, with how the currents in the area seem to work.  That said, I voted June 8-17 because this year the entire arctic icepack is mobile enough to make room for the surrounding ice to sail northward like never before, and there is less ice than ever in the Chukchi with which to replenish this area, which means we would just need the southerly transpolar winds to continue to be predominant another couple of weeks to produce something unprecedented. 

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2019, 11:20:39 PM »
...
Quote
I'll let Neven be the impartial determiner of when the Alaskan coast area is deemed clear enough of ice.
I'm happy to be convinced, but the argument has to be based on Uni Bremen sea ice concentration maps, as can be found on the ASIG.
Good enough for me!
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Rich

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2019, 11:46:17 PM »
It"s not a big deal but just to be clear. My interpretation of the prediction is when will someone be able to sail ice free from Beaufort to Bering....not the complete melt of every ice chunk sticking to the coastline.
.

Neven

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2019, 12:23:49 AM »
Yes, there needs to be continuous blue. Unfortunately, it seems that Uni Bremen SIC maps may not have good enough resolution.

Here's a map from July 7th 2016. I would say it doesn't qualify, but just barely (difficult to make out):
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2019, 12:40:04 AM »
... My interpretation of the prediction is when will someone be able to sail ice free from Beaufort to Bering....not the complete melt of every ice chunk sticking to the coastline.
This matches my expectation of Neven's discernment.
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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2019, 12:50:44 AM »
They say that the Pacific sector is on record.

https://twitter.com/AlaskaWx/status/1131580473417666560

Quote
Extent of #seaice in the seas around Alaska for May 22nd (@NSIDC data) is lowest of record at 1.61 million km², only 79% of 1981-2010 mean for the date. Bering Sea is 2nd lowest, Chukchi 1st lowest, Beaufort 3rd lowest.


Jim Hunt

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2019, 01:24:37 AM »
Yes, there needs to be continuous blue. Unfortunately, it seems that Uni Bremen SIC maps may not have good enough resolution.

You don't much care for the official NWS Alaska Sea Ice Program maps then?

IIRC the official criteria for an "open" Northwest Passage is <= 6/10 concentration along the entire route on the Canadian Ice Service maps, which have much better resolution than Bremen SIC! A current close up of the Beaufort choke point.

P.S. Added the Bremen AMSR2 equivalent:
« Last Edit: May 24, 2019, 01:38:57 AM by Jim Hunt »
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binntho

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2019, 08:18:35 AM »
I wonder, after seeing Aluminiums latest gif and also Oren's excellent combination of same, whether we are seeing here a very-large-scale slime effect? Or soap bubble effect or whatever you want to call a sticky fluid that just doesn't want to let go of a fixed surface.

Perhaps not so farfetched - it is a well known maritime effect that two ships (or other floating hard bodies) will tend to drift towards each other, the same must apply to ice floes, between individual floes and between them and land.

So a certain amount of "stickiness" is to be expected from floating ice ...

Neven

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2019, 09:43:36 AM »
Yes, there needs to be continuous blue. Unfortunately, it seems that Uni Bremen SIC maps may not have good enough resolution.

You don't much care for the official NWS Alaska Sea Ice Program maps then?

IIRC the official criteria for an "open" Northwest Passage is <= 6/10 concentration along the entire route on the Canadian Ice Service maps, which have much better resolution than Bremen SIC! A current close up of the Beaufort choke point.

P.S. Added the Bremen AMSR2 equivalent:

Yes, those resolutions are much better. So, contiguous blue on the UH AMSR2 map and/or the CIS definition.
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johnm33

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2019, 09:52:30 AM »
I think what's happening here is that Amundsen tides are pushing the Gyre along the coast, carrying Mackenzie river water before it. The most energetic fraction of Pacific waters are moving north tight against the Alaskan coast, where they meet there's constant turbulence causing bottom melt, inverse ponding, and to some extent cancelling each others inertia. Both currents then move north carrying the meltwater with them, which incidentally causes rapid repair of any cracks in the ice.
I've gone for the 5th June, but don't really have a clue.

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2019, 04:00:30 PM »
Lacking strong conviction (earlier vs. later arguments seem about equally balanced) yet voting anyway - late June -  because this is one of the most noteworthy features of the early melting season.

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2019, 07:22:56 PM »
The melting is more advanced than previous years and with stronger forces moving the ice in the area, with predictions that it will continue, however there is still some older ice there, which is stronger and more difficult to melt, and it seems that this arm can only distort so much before the forces responsible for this cancel each other, so mid june is the most likely.

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2019, 08:24:57 PM »
Going for the mid-June basket.   I think the fast ice will last a week or more, but not 3+   

Sterks

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #24 on: May 28, 2019, 09:27:55 AM »
Watching the persistent isobars predicted by ECMWF today, I have voted June 1-7

JayW

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #25 on: May 29, 2019, 12:49:05 PM »
Getting closer
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Jim Hunt

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #26 on: May 29, 2019, 12:53:11 PM »
Getting closer

No cigar yet though!

BTW, it seems that I've previously neglected to mention that I voted for June 8-17. Currently in second place on the leaderboard.
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #27 on: May 29, 2019, 06:57:41 PM »
Cross post:
… Beaufort joining the Chucki sea shortly with open water according to nrlssc.navy forecast.

https://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/GLBhycomcice1-12/navo/beaufortictn_nowcast_anim30d.gif

June 4th-ish?  (Not what I voted...)
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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #28 on: May 29, 2019, 07:12:13 PM »
Cross post:
… Beaufort joining the Chucki sea shortly with open water according to nrlssc.navy forecast.

https://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/GLBhycomcice1-12/navo/beaufortictn_nowcast_anim30d.gif

June 4th-ish?  (Not what I voted...)
Not to mention it suggests part of the multi year "arm" will be obliterated along the way.
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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #29 on: May 29, 2019, 07:59:00 PM »
 .. the Slater forecast somwhere on the forum the other day still had the ice firmly attached to Alaska on the 14th July . Even though it forecast a record low for the ice on that date this was one of the reasons I suspect it may be over optimistic. 
  .. I have forgotten how I voted .. will I be able to check after the event ? :) .. b.c.
2007 + 5 = 2012 + 4 = 2016 + 3 = 2019 ...

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #30 on: May 29, 2019, 08:42:09 PM »
BC,
scroll to the top of this thread's page.  Your vote will be highlighted in the graph of 'current results'.  If you haven't voted, you'll see the voting options.
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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #31 on: May 29, 2019, 11:48:41 PM »
Yes, there needs to be continuous blue. Unfortunately, it seems that Uni Bremen SIC maps may not have good enough resolution.

You don't much care for the official NWS Alaska Sea Ice Program maps then?

Yes, those resolutions are much better. So, contiguous blue on the UH AMSR2 map and/or the CIS definition.

You can also get much better resolution from the Bremen regional maps, e.g. see attached for 2016-July 7th and 8th (click to zoom in). Looks like it may have been passable on the 8th but not the 7th. But 2016 looks like it was touch and go (open one day, closed another) until early August.

Here's a link for today's Chukchi-Beaufort regional. Just choose the day you want and then click the small map to open a full sized map in a new tab:

https://seaice.uni-bremen.de/databrowser/#day=28&month=4&year=2019&img={"image":"image-1","sensor":"AMSR","type":"nic","region":"ChukchiBeaufort"}

Today's map (May 28) shows the beginning of the same rupture clearly shown on JayW's animation above. Shouldn't be long now unless the weather shifts...
« Last Edit: May 29, 2019, 11:53:47 PM by petm »
top line numbers rarely mean much, particularly extent (unless you fancy a boat ride) ...

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #32 on: May 30, 2019, 11:14:01 AM »
Here's a link for today's Chukchi-Beaufort regional. Just choose the day you want and then click the small map to open a full sized map in a new tab:

*snip*

Shouldn't be long now unless the weather shifts...

Thanks for that! Looks like it could be soon, indeed:

https://seaice.uni-bremen.de/data/amsr2/asi_daygrid_swath/n3125/2019/may/ChukchiBeaufort/asi-AMSR2-n3125-20190529-v5.4_nic.png

JayW

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #33 on: May 30, 2019, 11:36:38 AM »
"To defy the laws of tradition, is a crusade only of the brave" - Les Claypool

Jim Hunt

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #34 on: May 30, 2019, 01:30:53 PM »
You can also get much better resolution from the Bremen regional maps

And if you download the NetCDF version you can use e.g. Panoply to zoom in as much as you want. See my image above.
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #35 on: May 30, 2019, 05:21:37 PM »
about 2 hours of voting opportunity left...  (about 7 people voted during the last day)
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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #36 on: May 30, 2019, 06:49:18 PM »
about 2 hours of voting opportunity left...  (about 7 people voted during the last day)

And the lead has changed as a result :)
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JayW

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #37 on: May 30, 2019, 07:48:21 PM »
 most recent VIIRS image.

Edit: I am in the June 1-7 camp.
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jdallen

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #38 on: May 30, 2019, 07:57:28 PM »
It will be close, I suspect.
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #39 on: May 30, 2019, 08:47:24 PM »
There were 4 votes in the last 2 hours, but the horse race for category with the most votes didn't change.

Attached is an enlargement of Jay's image with crudely drawn lines added to trace North Alaska (green) and open water (blue) for those who cannot see the ice (or land or water) through the clouds …

Other ways of dicing the horse race statistics:
Period                        Votes/Day   DaysCovered/Vote
May (from poll open)     0.6                1.6              [nice to see the 'golden ratio' show up]
June 1-7                       2.9                0.3
June 8-17                     2.5                0.4
June 18-30                   0.6                1.6
July                              0.2                6.2

… and nobody complained there wasn't a "Aug-Sep 2019" or "2020" or "It'll never open again!" option!
« Last Edit: May 30, 2019, 09:04:10 PM by Tor Bejnar »
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

JayW

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #40 on: May 31, 2019, 03:25:55 AM »
12 hour loop.
"To defy the laws of tradition, is a crusade only of the brave" - Les Claypool

jdallen

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #41 on: May 31, 2019, 03:39:05 AM »
12 hour loop.
Dang.  I'm gonna lose.  The pack is going to separate from the fast ice and open up a gap.
This space for Rent.

Rich

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #42 on: May 31, 2019, 03:49:58 AM »
12 hour loop.

15-20 knot tail winds pushing relatively warm water there.

miki

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #43 on: May 31, 2019, 05:51:40 AM »
That looks like a sweet but short lived kiss...

Jim Hunt

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #44 on: June 01, 2019, 06:59:51 AM »
Dang.  I'm gonna lose.  The pack is going to separate from the fast ice and open up a gap.

Don't give up all hope just yet JD:
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

dingojoe

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #45 on: June 01, 2019, 08:00:55 AM »
The forecast seems really locked in for the next 5 days for a steady strong easterly wind, so the bulk of the pack very well could make it past the Point by June 7th.  Unfortunately, without a southerly wind, I think it'll still have a narrow "comet's" tail trailing back along the fast ice and in fact the tail may be some of that ice unfastening.

Rich

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #46 on: June 01, 2019, 09:20:52 AM »
12 hour loop.
Dang.  I'm gonna lose.  The pack is going to separate from the fast ice and open up a gap.

I think there is a sense that we're all losing. If I'm right and the ocean opens by the 7th, I'm definitely not going to be happy about it.

JayW

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #47 on: June 01, 2019, 09:28:34 AM »
14 hour loop, ending on June 1, 01 UTC
"To defy the laws of tradition, is a crusade only of the brave" - Les Claypool

Rich

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #48 on: June 01, 2019, 10:12:57 AM »
14 hour loop, ending on June 1, 01 UTC

Wow....it's already disconnected. The ocean floes are freely sliding by the fixed coastal ice.

This poll will be ending before long.


Tor Bejnar

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Re: Poll: Beaufort Polynya connecting to Bering Strait open water
« Reply #49 on: June 01, 2019, 07:34:13 PM »
At this rate, the 'dam' could be gone in about 3 days.  The rate won't stay constant, but early June sure looks possible, given the H over the Arctic is forecast to stay put for a while.
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.