Sea ice is fast approaching the Westfjords of Iceland and could close shipping lanes close to shore, mbl.is reports. The sea ice spread is just short of 12 nautical miles from Horn on the Westfjords. Little to no sea ice has been seen in the area in recent years, as specific weather circumstances have led to this rarity.
“Unusual weather circumstances have played their part in getting the sea ice so unusually close to shore”, commented Teitur Arason, a meteorologist at the Icelandic Meteorological Office. A high pressure zone has been in place south of the country since last Wednesday. Furthermore, a steady southwesterly wind direction has pushed the ice towards the Westfjords, along with the current which flows in the same direction. The ice has been flowing at a pace of 10 nautical miles per day in the areas most affected by the weather.
It is expected that the southwesterly winds will last until Friday, so the sea ice is expected to advance closer to the coast. It is possible that the ice closes shipping lanes close to shore. The Icelandic Coast Guard has warned seafarers of this unusual situation.
The image above is from the Volcanology and Natural Disasters Group of the University of Iceland, which also provides updates in English. The sea ice position reflects the status on the 1st of June, the dotted line reflects the 3rd of June, and the solid line represents the status yesterday.