Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut August 17, 2012 - 3:06 pm

Watch out, Iqaluit, the heavy sea-ice is back

“It tried to move out, but the southeasterly wind came again”

SAMANTHA DAWSON
Heavy sea ice returned to Iqaluit with a vengeance this week, and continues to clog the waters of Frobisher Bay. On Aug. 16, workers used heavy equipment to clear a path through the ice to this barge near the sealift beach so that goods could be offloaded from it onto flatbed trucks. (PHOTO BY JIM BELL)
Heavy sea ice returned to Iqaluit with a vengeance this week, and continues to clog the waters of Frobisher Bay. On Aug. 16, workers used heavy equipment to clear a path through the ice to this barge near the sealift beach so that goods could be offloaded from it onto flatbed trucks. (PHOTO BY JIM BELL)

Just after north-westerly winds started clearing Frobisher Bay of heavy pack ice that was pushed in during the first week of August and caused grief for sealift vessels and local boaters, south-easterly winds returned this week to shove the ice back up the bay again.

But all that ice should be gone within seven days at the most, says Claude Dicaire, senior ice forecaster with Canada Ice Services.

“Within a week we should see most of the ice disappear very quickly,” he said. 

There have been many south-easterly winds, starting with storms in early July that moved ice closer to Iqaluit, he said.

The ice is a combination of first-year and old, or winter ice. “There’s more first-year than old ice, there was only a bit of old ice,” Dicaire said.

However, all of the ice in the bay has started melting rapidly.

“I suspect it will continue to melt,” he said.

Normally for Frobisher Bay the ice is gone by early August, but that’s not the case this year.

“We’re almost three weeks late in terms of clearing,” Dicaire said.

Davis Strait and Baffin Bay are already all clear. 

However, he is keeping an eye on pieces of glacier from the extreme northeast side of Greenland that have been stuck on the ocean floor all summer that came from the Petermann glacier.

That ice is not a concern right now and will likely not affect shipping if it does come towards Frobisher Bay, which happened two years ago, Dicaire said.

The pieces being monitored are small in size compared to the ice that washed into the bay during the first week of August.

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