Prompted by a comment on the Northwest Passage thread from last year I’m opening the 2021 equivalent earlier than usual, in part because there’s already a lot going on of interest. First of all let’s get our bearings with the help of this map of the area:
and another map detailing the routes through Canadian Arctic Archipelago that have previously been successfully traversed:
The forecast high pressure has arrived and the skies have cleared over the Beaufort Sea, which reveals that the land-fast ice off the Mackenzie Delta has started breaking up:
In addition the snow has been melting along the valley of the Mackenzie River, and the resulting increased flow at the mouth of the delta is flooding the fast ice:
June has arrived, and according to the Great White Con Arctic sea ice calendar that means the summer surface melting season has started. Once July arrives bottom melt should have started in earnest too, but for now let’s stick to the surface. Here’s the Climate Reanalyzer map of Arctic surface air temperatures at 06:00 UTC this morning:
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