Sea Ice Outlook (SIO) and Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook (SIWO) 2015

July 8, 2015
By Jessica Rohde

The Sea Ice Prediction Network recently released the June Report of the September 2015 Sea Ice Outlook (SIO). The SIO incorporates contributions from a diverse range of sources to forecast the September minimum sea ice extent and releases reports in annually in June, July and August. Although sea ice extents were near record minimums in May 2015, existing central Arctic sea ice thickness and seasonal weather forecasts do not favor an extreme September minimum in 2015. The median outlook value for September 2015 sea ice extent is 5.0 million square kilometers, which is near the observed values for 2013 and 2014 of 5.3 and 5.4.

Distribution of individual Pan-Arctic Outlook values (June Report) for September 2015 sea ice extent (n=30).

The Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook (SIWO), an activity of the SIO, provides information on sea ice conditions relevant to walrus and is a resource for Alaska Native subsistence hunters, coastal communities, and others. In 2015 the SIWO provided weekly updates from 3 April to 5 June with current high-resolution satellite conditions, local observations, and 5 and 10-day forecasts focused on western Saint Lawrence Island and Wales to Shismaref, Alaska.

The SIWO collaboration includes weather and ice forecasters, climate scientists and sea-ice researchers at NOAA, the National Weather Service, the University of Alaska, and the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S., teaming with Alaska Native sea-ice experts and the Eskimo Walrus Commission. The SIO and SIWO are important contributions to the work of the IARPC Sea Ice Collaboration Team. To learn more about the team’s milestones and accomplishments, as well as contribute to them, please request an account on our member space.

Posted by Jessica Rohde on behalf of Jim Overland, NOAA.

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