Saturday, June 17, 2017

North Slope Thaw

It's been a cold month so far along Alaska's Arctic coast, but webcam views are finally showing change in the fresh water environment as winter's ice begins to disappear.  The two images below were taken a little over 72 hours apart at Wadepiper Lake, close to Teshekpuk Lake, with conditions this afternoon obviously much more hospitable for avian visitors.

The much larger Teshekpuk Lake has seen much less change in the last 3 days and appears to still be mostly frozen over:

Here's a nice chart from Rick showing how unusual the cool conditions have been in Barrow lately: the first half of June was the coolest in more than 40 years.


  1. Love that you're using our TLO webcams. worth noting that wadepiper lake is a bedfast ice lake, ie. frozen completely to the bed, and thus experiences ice free conditions on average 2 weeks earlier than typical "floating ice" lakes. What you're seeing in that image is likely meltwater on top of ice. Supported by our buoy information here:

    1. Thanks for the insight and for the data link! I always enjoy checking out the webcams - thanks for maintaining them.

    2. Back in the early 1980's I had the privilege to fly and conduct with another biologist fisheries surveys in the area of your stations. Resident Lake Trout and other species were documented along with water quality and observations. It's a unique area of Alaska.