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3. Feb 2020

Where’s the Drift Ice Now??

The weather diagram released by the Meteorological Agency shows that the drift ice has literally “drifted” away from Hokkaido during the past couple of days.

We had a rather strong snow storm on January 30 and 31, and the strong wind could have pushed the ice to the west.

In general, the drift ice comes down south along the east coast of Sakhalin to Hokkaido. But the reason why it doesn’t come straight down to Abashiri is because there is a sea current just below the south of Sakhalin between Hokkaido that flows from west to east. Thus the ice is brought to Shiretoko Peninsula before it reaches the shores of Abashiri and the rest of Okhotsk area in the west. After the ice hits the Peninsula, it’s pushed back to the west. This is why we see more ice in areas nearer to the Peninsula.

Let us hope that the wind changes and brings back the drift ice to the east!