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Old 10-17-2010, 08:39 PM
 
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OK I've been watching off and on today, and it looks like there is some ice forming from the shore. I've been waitng to see the ice form. Is it ice or are my eyes tricking me?
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Old 10-18-2010, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Carver County, MN
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Ice, Ice Baby...
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Old 10-18-2010, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Barrow, Alaska
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spazkat9696 View Post
OK I've been watching off and on today, and it looks like there is some ice forming from the shore. I've been waitng to see the ice form. Is it ice or are my eyes tricking me?
I didn't look at the ocean yesterday, and it isn't light enough to see anything on the webcam right now... but the chances there is shore ice forming right now is virtually zero!

The wind has been blowing at from 20 to 30 MPH, and the temperatures have been in the mid 20's. That's not conducive to any ice formation. But since the wind is from the ENE there is a slight chance that some ice has been blown in from the icepack. More likely however, what would be visible on the webcam might be a lot of wind blown froth.

I'll go take a look later, and post something about what actually is there.
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Interior alaska
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When it is below 28 degrees seawater (salt) starts to freeze, in the winds, the ice forms ice crystals in the air from the waves and starts to build slush. In calm waters, the ice will form pans of ice and build from them and the beaches. When we pulled our boats from the water in Prudhoe Bay on the 30th of Sept this year, it was due to the slush building up on the water and ice forming on the beaches.

Ice was building off the shore at that time.

This year, the ice pack was only a few miles off shore and visible, in the past years during the summer it would retreat out twenty miles or more.
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Old 10-18-2010, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Barrow, Alaska
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Here we go again... Starlite talking about Barrow and the Arctic Ocean, which he knows nothing about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by starlite9 View Post
When it is below 28 degrees seawater (salt) starts to freeze, in the winds, the ice forms ice crystals in the air from the waves and starts to build slush. In calm waters, the ice will form pans of ice and build from them and the beaches. When we pulled our boats from the water in Prudhoe Bay on the 30th of Sept this year, it was due to the slush building up on the water and ice forming on the beaches.

Ice was building off the shore at that time.

This year, the ice pack was only a few miles off shore and visible, in the past years during the summer it would retreat out twenty miles or more.
Most summers in the past decade the icepack has been 200 to 300 miles from Barrow.

The temperature here hasn't been up to 28 degrees here for a couple of weeks, so according to Starlite we'd have a two week accumulation of slush, plus pans of ice by now. But here's what we actually have as of 1:18 PM this afternoon on the 18th of October.
No slush at all. No ice pans either. Just breakers (which won't be there once any significant amount of shore ice forms). That is, by the way, the area of ocean seen by the Barrow Sea Ice webcam.

Starlite's crews pull their boats at the first hint of snow build up on the beach, simply because they haven't got the expertize to operate in the Arctic Ocean. Here in Barrow, which is significantly farther north and thus colder than where Starlite runs for cover at the end of September (he works below decks, and makes no command decisions), local crews are actively hunting Bowhead whales into October. They make daily decisions on whether to hunt, based on wind and waves, not on ice.
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:17 PM
 
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Humm I guess I was seeing the sea foam. I'm still looking daily for the ice. When do you think it will start to form?

I do have another question though. Is the water in Barrow full of silt? I'm looking, and the water just looks so different from the beach water here.


BTW thanks for the picture.
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Barrow, Alaska
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spazkat9696 View Post
Humm I guess I was seeing the sea foam. I'm still looking daily for the ice. When do you think it will start to form?

I do have another question though. Is the water in Barrow full of silt? I'm looking, and the water just looks so different from the beach water here.


BTW thanks for the picture.
The question about silt is perceptive! And that is part of what the image on the webcam was showing.

The ocean here is very shallow, plus there are changes in the direction of the current several times in relatively short distances off shore. That shows up as different amounts of reflectivity from the water, and it's pretty difficult with a low resolution image to tell exactly what it is. On a clear day at any height above the water it is very easy to see at least the dividing line between the "muddy" water nearest the shore and the water farther out where wave action is not stirring up the bottom. Of course where that line is depends on how much wave action, which depends on velocity and direction of the wind.

The shore ice will probably be forming the first time we get a good dip in the temperature. Below 0F is probably good enough. A few days at 10F might do it, and a very short time at -20F would be enough. Note that all of the lakes and lagoons are frozen over already.
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Old 10-18-2010, 05:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd_Davidson View Post
The question about silt is perceptive! And that is part of what the image on the webcam was showing.

The ocean here is very shallow, plus there are changes in the direction of the current several times in relatively short distances off shore. That shows up as different amounts of reflectivity from the water, and it's pretty difficult with a low resolution image to tell exactly what it is. On a clear day at any height above the water it is very easy to see at least the dividing line between the "muddy" water nearest the shore and the water farther out where wave action is not stirring up the bottom. Of course where that line is depends on how much wave action, which depends on velocity and direction of the wind.

The shore ice will probably be forming the first time we get a good dip in the temperature. Below 0F is probably good enough. A few days at 10F might do it, and a very short time at -20F would be enough. Note that all of the lakes and lagoons are frozen over already.


Thanks & Brrrr

I haven't seen sustained temperatures cold since I lived in Anchorage as a child. Amazingly, not really sure how, but we can get snow at 34 degrees here. Last year we did have a really bad cold snap temperatures in the 20s for a few days, but nothing enough to freeze the lakes little lone the ocean. Weather like that usually only happens about once every 10 years here. Oh how I miss Anchorage. One day I'll get back.

I know some hard core Alaska folks don't consider Anchorage real Alaska, but I love it there.
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:12 PM
 
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spazkat9696 View Post
Thanks & Brrrr

I haven't seen sustained temperatures cold since I lived in Anchorage as a child. Amazingly, not really sure how, but we can get snow at 34 degrees here. Last year we did have a really bad cold snap temperatures in the 20s for a few days, but nothing enough to freeze the lakes little lone the ocean. Weather like that usually only happens about once every 10 years here. Oh how I miss Anchorage. One day I'll get back.

I know some hard core Alaska folks don't consider Anchorage real Alaska, but I love it there.
In 1992 I was doing security at Lambert's Point Docks in Norfolk, right on the Elizabeth River. One day in March it was 52 and snowing the heaviest I had ever seen it snow. It was heavier then the Blizzards in 77 and 88. None of it stuck but for an hour it was beautiful.
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Old 10-20-2010, 01:09 AM
 
Location: Barrow, Alaska
3,539 posts, read 6,412,168 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spazkat9696 View Post
Humm I guess I was seeing the sea foam. I'm still looking daily for the ice.
Ahhh, I've figured out what you were seeing! A lot of snow! Earlier tonight it was blowing and snowing like a good thing, and it looked just like what was on the webcam the other day. It's down in the low 20s and the wind is blowing a lot of snow from the land into the ocean, causing a significant amount of slush.

It will have to get colder than it is to turn that into ice though.
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