Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Full moon tide action caught by sea ice
The full moon has always had a huge repertory of folklore associated with it. But this on is real. At about or near the full brightness of the moon and also likewise at the new moon, sea ice and tides usually do a great display, in this case North of Ellesmere Island, extreme sport skiers/sledgers to the North Pole are really aware of this. The events are readily recognizable with satellite pictures even between phases, but are not so strong or visible. The winds on the pictures above can be seen by streamers, small water sky clouds pushed away from open leads rich with water vapor, they are the condensation trails of the lower atmosphere seen from airplanes and space, in this case these are not so aligned with the tidal leads which are more to do about underwater topography, however the winds may help exacerbate formations . Of course in April , the spring tides give a more spectacular display.
Right this NOAA capture was 2.3 hours after Low tide at 07:27 UTC, the freshest lead nearest to shore of NW of Canadian Archipelago shows darker, it exposes warmer open water at near -2 C. The way to understand this to consider the black leads width considerably larger than once broken open. The to and fro of full and new moon tides are usually seen more prominent, despite apparent small height tidal differences. The reason for this occurrence is not well understood to the wider audience often dismissive that it even exists, the larger explanation has something to do with gravity and the speed
of the wave action, the tidal current.
Of Note is the close proximity to shore of the tidal event (a sign of the times) then the bifurcation Northward (along with the high tide ebb crest). Its width likely several Kilometers wide. The way to understand this would be
best if standing on the right shoreline of the lead, whereas steady ice provides a view of the expanding lead to the westwards. The winds seen by streamers help push open the lead further towards the greater pack ice. The lead parallel to the coast, less contrarian to wind direction opened less.
Higher resolution pictures demonstrate a battered ice shelf:
DMI shots give a closer look, while there is no North Pole expeditions from way of land this year, potential extreme sport skiers would have had a terrible time close off the starting mark at Wardhunt Island if they were on the ice now. The degree of damage
is significant seen by many smaller fracture leads, the most dangerous ones to venture
near. With higher resolution picture Crescent leads appear numerous, however they are highly visible from the surface horizontally , since they are wide and give unstable ice conditions, narrow dangerous leads are those covered by snow with very little ice under . This entire current event will disappear with ice refreeze and snow cover. Only to reappear again when conditions are right.
A few days later , it got really bad, very much like summer ice break with land just 5 months early:
DMI January 25 213 at 04:32 UTC Very close to the worst open water break in January ever filmed, if not the worst, I do not recall such very wide open water next to shore when so cold, even if temperatures were significantly above average . NW higher altitude Greenland appears very warm, Fjords and Inlets look very white confirming the scant surface temperature data available, over darkening processing seems possible to capture sea ice features or there is a great deal of heat above the surface. Only a radar picture may solidly confirm precisely how wide this parting of sea ice is, but no doubt its huge.
WD January 23-24, 26, 2013
play again and again and you shall see. WD February 9, 2013