According to the US National Snow and Ice Data Center, the Beaufort Gyre is:
A clockwise circulation (looking from above the North Pole) in the Beaufort Sea, north of Alaska. This circulation results from an average high-pressure system that spawns winds over the region.
Such a high pressure system has been in place over the Arctic Ocean for a few days now, and the effect of the clockwise circulation on the sea ice in the Beaufort Sea is already evident in these recent satellite images:
as well as in this animation of sea ice movement since February:
The high pressure is forecast to continue for several more days. Here’s the GFS forecast for April 20th, courtesy of MeteoCiel:
which shows a large system with a central pressure of 1040 hPa still sitting over the Northern Beaufort Sea. Next here’s an animation from the US Navy which forecasts ice thickness until April 19th:
Note in particular the large area of open water forecast to be produced in the Chukchi sea off Barrow, Alaska by the end of the period. The continuing clockwise winds have already started reducing the area of sea ice in the Beaufort Sea at an unusually early date:
Amongst other things we’ll be keeping a close eye on the ice area in the Chukchi Sea over the next few days. The sun is already starting to bathe that area of our planet with its rays, and open ocean soaks up that heat much more readily than bright white ice.
Here’s an animation of the effect on sea ice of the Beaufort Gyre in overdrive from Neven at the Arctic Sea Ice Blog:
Notice how towards the end of the animation another huge part of the ice pack, north of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago is pulled into the Gyre. This is mostly multi-year ice.