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When will "small vessels" first be able to traverse the Northwest Passage in 2023?

Before August 1
9 (23.1%)
August 1 -  15
20 (51.3%)
August 16 - 31
7 (17.9%)
September 1 - 15
3 (7.7%)
September 16 - 30
0 (0%)
Extremely late in the season
0 (0%)
No way Jose!
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 39

Voting closed: July 24, 2023, 03:44:46 PM

Author Topic: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?  (Read 7208 times)

Jim Hunt

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When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« on: June 04, 2023, 03:44:46 PM »
For the purposes of this poll "open" counts as <= 6/10 concentration on the Canadian Ice Service charts along the entire length of one of the assorted routes through the CAA.

"Travers[ing] the Northwest Passage" implies without the assistance of an icebreaker.

Here are the assorted numbered routes through the Northwest Passage (click to enlarge):



Should a "tie break" become necessary please feel free to select the route you expect to open first as well as a date.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2023, 08:01:29 PM by Jim Hunt »
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Jim Hunt

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2023, 03:47:59 PM »
To assist your deliberations, here are the most recent PIOMAS and merged CryoSat-2/SMOS thickness maps of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago:

https://GreatWhiteCon.info/2023/06/the-northwest-passage-in-2023/

PIOMAS is from May 31st, and CS2/SMOS from April 15th.
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Jim Hunt

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2023, 04:39:48 PM »
Here too are the Canadian Ice Service‘s latest sea ice “stage of development” and concentration charts:
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KenB

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2023, 07:46:47 PM »
As usual, I'll go with route 6.  Right now I'm voting for Aug. 1-15, but it's quite tempting to go for late July, so I may switch since the deadline is quite far off :-).  Worldview (3 June) seems to be showing about half of the Bellot is already open water.  I was surprised to scan backward by year and find that this little fingernail of open water is present by early June in most of the last 20 years. 
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Tom Stedman

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2023, 09:40:58 PM »
It's very warm in North Canada, and there's a lot of gaps in the ice on the Bremen map, so I've taken a punt on before 1 August!

cesium62

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2023, 10:48:51 PM »
Do we have historical data as to if/when each route has historically opened?

Jim Hunt

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2023, 12:29:19 AM »
Do we have historical data as to if/when each route has historically opened?

You could start with:

Checking my own records

2020 - August 11th
2019 - August 16th
2018 - Never? However Thor escaped ice in Franklin Strait on August 28th
2017 - August 27th
2016 - August 11th
2015 - ~August 13th

I seem to recall that in 2012 the passage opened very early.

Plus:

2022 - August 11th
          However Maiwenn Beadle in Noorderzon made it through Bellot Strait on August 7th

2021 - August 11th (For one day!)
           August 24th
« Last Edit: June 05, 2023, 08:00:51 AM by Jim Hunt »
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NevB

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2023, 03:55:28 PM »
I went for August 1 - 15


Worldview seems to indicate it will be early

https://1drv.ms/i/s!Ah3KilKdBsM4gQi9NzmmSyOzA0yV?e=7WUs88


oren

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2023, 02:01:46 AM »
Went for 1-15 of Aug, and "it is always Bellot Strait" (though not last year IIRC) so 5/6 for me.

HapHazard

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2023, 02:22:00 AM »
I'll take "Before August 1", #5. After poking around on Worldview.
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gerontocrat

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2023, 02:46:02 AM »
August 16-31 Route 6.

A bit late because as a pure guess early melt will be offset by the garlic press being more active this year.
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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2023, 03:04:45 AM »
ooh good thinking, that's a distinct possibility

Either way I should have my canoe up there mid July so I win anyway.
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Jim Hunt

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2023, 03:03:56 PM »
Surface melt is now visible across much of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago:

https://GreatWhiteCon.info/2023/06/the-northwest-passage-in-2023/#Jun-15
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oren

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2023, 03:47:25 PM »
Interestingly, the exit region near Cornwallis island is still pristine.

Jim Hunt

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2023, 05:27:23 PM »
Interestingly, the exit region near Cornwallis island is still pristine.

However it seems that the snow cover at Resolute has almost gone:
"The most revolutionary thing one can do always is to proclaim loudly what is happening" - Rosa Luxemburg

KenB

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2023, 07:40:48 PM »
The North American Ice Service has released a document titled "Seasonal Outlook North American Arctic Waters Summer 2023" with predictions for July, August, and September in each of 20 or so waterways:

https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/eccc/cis-scg/seasonal_outlooks/20230601_otlkare_summer2023.pdf

A very cursory read seems to indicate that early August continues to be a decent bet if these predictions hold up.  We'll see.
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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2023, 10:01:24 PM »
Victoria Island and Banks Island are about to get torched.  I mean, they have already been getting torched, but they are really about to get torched days 4-6 in the forecast period.  It is odd how consistent of a pattern we have had of the western half of the CAA being hot and the eastern half of the CAA being cool this spring.

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2023, 08:46:43 PM »
McClure Strait is basically all broken up now.
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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2023, 12:42:48 AM »
Ice breakup beginning in the rest of the southern Northwest Passage route (in between Victoria Island and the Boothia Peninsula) as per today's EOSDIS imagery.  In my experience, it is very consistently about a month between when breakup starts in a section of the CAA and full melt-out.  Those who voted August 1-15 (including myself) might just squeak it in under the deadline.

KenB

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2023, 07:29:01 PM »
The first 2023 iteration of the "Approaches to Resolute" map has now appeared at:

https://iceweb1.cis.ec.gc.ca/Prod/page2.xhtml?CanID=11090&lang=en&title=Eastern+Arctic

though it doesn't include the area immediately to the east of the Belot Strait yet. 

Still no Queen Maud map yet either.  I'm thinking that a July opening is pretty unlikely at this point, so I'm sticking with early August.
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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2023, 10:15:58 PM »
I think a July opening is out of the question, but the August 1-15th opening is still in play, judging by the fact that there is breakup in the Parry Channel north of Somerset Island today, which means even the main Parry Channel might be navigable within 4 weeks from now even if there is still some lingering ice around the Bellot Strait area by then (also doubtful). 

wallen

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2023, 02:41:04 AM »
The  AMSR2 that Oren posted today suggests that route through Bellot strait and down arond King William island is very close to opening. If so, when was the last time the North West passage opened before the North East passage across top of Russia.

KenB

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2023, 03:39:44 AM »
Well, the Queen Maud map is now up at https://iceweb1.cis.ec.gc.ca/Prod/page2.xhtml?CanID=11090&lang=en&title=Eastern+Arctic and though there's still no forecast for either end of the Belot, the passageway from there south is *almost* clear in the areas actually covered.  With an entire week of July to go, I'm very tempted to change my vote (two days left to do so, apparently).  The rub, I think, will be whether the Ice Service expands their forecast areas enough in the next week to make a determination possible. 

P.S. - am I the only one who's gotten no Worldview imaging since 7/20?  I can't find any announcements about interruptions.
"When the melt ponds drain apparent compaction goes up because the satellite sees ice, not water in ponds." - FOoW

gerontocrat

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2023, 06:18:33 AM »
I am plumping for Route 1 to be open this year in the first week of September, although not the first route to be clear. The only realistically good route for commercial shipping (i.e. not tourism)?
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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2023, 09:24:54 AM »
P.S. - am I the only one who's gotten no Worldview imaging since 7/20?  I can't find any announcements about interruptions.
Not the only one - it's everyone:

Quote from: WorldView
Posted 21 July 2023

There is an issue with the delivery of the near real-time Terra/MODIS, Aqua/MODIS and Suomi-NPP/VIIRS Corrected Reflectance imagery and other NRT imagery from those sensors. We apologize for the inconvenience.
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Jim Hunt

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #25 on: July 23, 2023, 11:44:52 AM »
Fortunately in Worldview's absence Sentinel 2 is still beaming back pictures. It's beginning to look as though route 6 will be open very early this year:

https://GreatWhiteCon.info/2023/06/the-northwest-passage-in-2023/#Jul-23

I'm sticking with my original forecast of the first 2 weeks in August, but if you want to change your vote the poll closes tomorrow!

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Jim Hunt

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #26 on: July 23, 2023, 11:58:14 AM »
I am plumping for Route 1 to be open this year in the first week of September, although not the first route to be clear. The only realistically good route for commercial shipping (i.e. not tourism)?

Several "commercial" vessels take the southern route each year. It looks as though the first one of the 2023 season is already heading for the Bering Strait:

https://GreatWhiteCon.info/2023/06/the-northwest-passage-in-2023/#comment-693841

It seems unlikely that it will head for the McClure Strait, but stranger things have happened?

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Tom Stedman

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #27 on: July 23, 2023, 01:07:25 PM »
I voted before 1 st of August,  and right or wrong I'm going to stick with it. It's going to be a low year for the CAA indeed!

HapHazard

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #28 on: July 25, 2023, 10:37:12 AM »
Getting closerrrrrrr

If I call you out but go no further, the reason is Brandolini's law.

Jim Hunt

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #29 on: July 25, 2023, 03:23:47 PM »
The final votes have been counted.

Let the nail biting begin:

https://GreatWhiteCon.info/2023/06/the-northwest-passage-in-2023/#Jul-25
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Jim Hunt

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #30 on: July 26, 2023, 08:31:04 PM »
Cross posted from the melting season thread:

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #31 on: July 29, 2023, 01:20:14 AM »

very close today! I just looked at worldview!

Jim Hunt

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #32 on: July 29, 2023, 01:48:35 AM »
So did I Rox, and I called it:

https://GreatWhiteCon.info/2023/06/the-northwest-passage-in-2023/#Jul-28

Quote
It’s a very tight squeeze, and a puff of breeze might change the situation by tomorrow, but according to our habitual <= 6/10 concentration criterion I hereby declare route 6 through the Northwest Passage “open”!
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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #33 on: July 29, 2023, 01:52:47 AM »
Therefore I am the undisputed champion this year. I shall celebrate with a house dram of whiskey, with a nice Prensado Churchill cigar.
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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #34 on: July 29, 2023, 07:57:20 AM »
Just a few days out on my guess. Oh well, could be worse.

Tom Stedman

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #35 on: July 29, 2023, 08:05:51 AM »
Before 1 of August is surely unusually early, but it has been very warm up there!

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #36 on: July 29, 2023, 09:44:40 AM »
congrats to the other 8 :)
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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #37 on: July 30, 2023, 12:24:58 AM »
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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #38 on: August 08, 2023, 02:13:55 AM »
Parry channel = open?
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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #39 on: August 08, 2023, 03:26:00 AM »
Parry channel = open?

Looking at the Canadian Ice Service maps, I'd say it's open as far as Resolute coming from the east.  West of that, not so much.  Worldview seems to show that one might almost be able to sneak past the ice by staying in the northernmost part of the M'Clure Strait, but it would probably be quite exciting. 
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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #40 on: August 08, 2023, 09:10:01 AM »
Worldview seems to show that one might almost be able to sneak past the ice by staying in the northernmost part of the M'Clure Strait, but it would probably be quite exciting.

It would also be "quite exciting" on the southern route, which is still "closed" according to the CIS charts:

https://GreatWhiteCon.info/2023/06/the-northwest-passage-in-2023/#Aug-07

Going by Worldview the western entrance to McClure Strait is clearly still "closed"?

See also the other "choke point" from Sentinel 2. Extremely exciting!
« Last Edit: August 08, 2023, 09:30:15 AM by Jim Hunt »
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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #41 on: August 09, 2023, 03:03:29 PM »
Looking at Bremen (not official I know) the whole main passage is open, except for that stubborn bit of ice clinging to Banks Island outside McClure strait.

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #42 on: August 09, 2023, 08:41:03 PM »
Yeah but that's canoe-able for sure.
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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #43 on: August 09, 2023, 09:31:32 PM »
Canoes don't count, nor do kayaks
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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #44 on: August 09, 2023, 10:05:24 PM »
Fine ima swim it then!

OK I'm joking, I always claim I can canoe it therefore it's open. lol

Aside: a good friend of mine participated in a relay swim across the Bering Strait years ago. I bet they could swim this, too!  ;)  :P
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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #45 on: August 09, 2023, 10:43:49 PM »
What if you put an outboard motor on a canoe or it was an enormous war canoe ?

We need advice on this from Jim.
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Jim Hunt

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #46 on: August 09, 2023, 11:52:19 PM »
We need advice on this from Jim.

If they stick to the routes in the OP "small craft" of whatever flavour count IMHO. There is a team hoping to row the central Northwest Passage this summer, but not the full Circle to Circle:

https://nwpexpedition.com

Personally I doubt that they will succeed. A team of kayakers didn't make it very far last year. A SUPper did better:

https://GreatWhiteCon.info/2022/06/the-northwest-passage-in-2022/#comment-629649

"The most revolutionary thing one can do always is to proclaim loudly what is happening" - Rosa Luxemburg

Jim Hunt

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #47 on: August 10, 2023, 12:00:15 AM »
Another glimpse of McClure Strait via MODIS:

https://GreatWhiteCon.info/2023/06/the-northwest-passage-in-2023/#Aug-09

Plus the southern route is "open" again thanks to a thin sliver of 1-3/10 concentration ice leading to the eastern entrance to Bellot Strait.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2023, 12:21:47 AM by Jim Hunt »
"The most revolutionary thing one can do always is to proclaim loudly what is happening" - Rosa Luxemburg

Jim Hunt

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #48 on: August 10, 2023, 09:59:19 AM »
The Royal Wagenborg freighters Alaskaborg and Albanyborg passed each other in the (UTC) night at the eastern entrance to Bellot Strait:

https://GreatWhiteCon.info/2023/06/the-northwest-passage-in-2023/#comment-697658

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Jim Hunt

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Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2023?
« Reply #49 on: August 12, 2023, 02:34:54 PM »
Que Sera is poised to be the first "pleasure craft" to pass through the Bellot Strait in the heart of the Northwest Passage in 2023:

https://GreatWhiteCon.info/2023/06/the-northwest-passage-in-2023/#Aug-12

Photo of Pond Inlet © Alexis Blanc
"The most revolutionary thing one can do always is to proclaim loudly what is happening" - Rosa Luxemburg