Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook
Overview of SIWO
The Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook (SIWO) is a resource for Alaska Native subsistence hunters, coastal communities, and others interested in sea ice and walrus. The SIWO provides weekly reports during the spring sea ice season with information on weather and sea ice conditions relevant to walrus in the northern Bering Sea and southern Chukchi Sea regions of Alaska.
The Outlooks are produced with information on weather and sea ice conditions provided by the National Weather Service – Alaska Region and Alaska Native sea ice experts. SIWO is managed by the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS), in partnership with the Eskimo Walrus Commission, the National Weather Service, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and local observers. AOOS became a partner in the SIWO program in 2022 by providing weekly forecasts of surface currents and sea-ice.
The forecast season usually begins in March and runs through June, depending on sea ice conditions. The full Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook can be found on the ARCUS SIWO program webpage and the SIWO Facebook page. The weekly forecasts of surface currents and sea ice from AOOS will also be posted on this page during the 2023 SIWO season.
Surface currents and Sea Ice Forecasts
These animations show the predicted movement of ice predicted by the HYbrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM). Snapshots from the forecast show ice coverage from 0% (black) to 100% (white) and arrows show the relative speed and direction of the ice. A light boundary is drawn at 15% predicted ice cover to highlight the ice edge, but ice may be predicted to extend beyond it. Some bays, lagoons, and areas very close to shore are not covered by the model.