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Life in Newfoundland

Tracking the 2021 ice season #4

May is here, so let’s have a look at the latest iceberg analysis chart to see when and where we can expect to see some icebergs:

Iceberg Analysis Chart – May 1st, 2021

This isn’t a bad chart, but it’s not particularly promising either, is it? After a lacklustre sea ice season it’s not surprising to see low iceberg numbers too. Sea ice protects icebergs from wave erosion, so when there’s little to no sea ice, fewer icebergs survive the journey south.

In Newfoundland, only the Great Northern Peninsula has decent iceberg numbers on the chart right now, and from what I understand most of those icebergs are either quite small or so far out to sea that nobody’s seen or reported them yet.

Let’s compare today’s chart with the May 1st chart from 2019, which was a very good year for iceberg watchers:

Iceberg Analysis Chart – May 1st, 2019

That’s a completely different picture, isn’t it?

Icebergs were so plentiful in 2019 I found a small iceberg while hiking the East Coast Trail in July, which was fun because they’ve usually melted by then so close to St. John’s.

By comparison, 2021 is starting to look a lot more like 2011, which had a poor iceberg season if we were to judge it by numbers alone:

Iceberg Analysis Chart – May 1st, 2011

Because of the poor iceberg outlook for the Avalon Peninsula that year, I took a trip to Twillingate and Fogo Island to see the sea ice and icebergs there. You see, even during a poor iceberg season you can still treat yourself to a great big iceberg adventure! 🙂

Tracking the 2021 ice season #3

Let’s have another look at the 2021 ice season. In the first 2 checkups, #1 & #2, we had a look at the sea ice situation around Newfoundland and concluded that 2021 was not a good year for it.

Now that the time for sea ice is as good as over, let’s look at the next big attraction coming our way: icebergs.

Iceberg Analysis Chart – April 14, 2021

This is today’s official iceberg chart and among other things it shows that the iceberg numbers around the Great Northern Peninsula are steadily increasing.

If you check these charts frequently you’ll see the numbers change day by day, giving you a sense of how the icebergs are moving and where they are going. You’ll find these iceberg analysis charts here.

What the charts don’t show you is the weather. So far, April has been exceptionally foggy, so foggy in fact that any early icebergs out there have mostly gone unnoticed, and therefore unreported.

The weather forecast for the rest of April looks much better though, so look forward to the first iceberg sightings of 2021 coming in on my Icebergs in Newfoundland page in the coming weeks, or maybe even in the next few days. 🙂

Tracking the 2021 ice season #2

It’s been a full month since our first look at the 2021 ice season: time for a second look.

In the satellite view above this story you can see the amount of sea ice has increased slightly and the ice has spread out thanks to offshore wind, but for a month worth of drifting the ice hasn’t made it much further south:

Mid-March Ice Chart 2021

While it’s still possible that wind will blow one of these patches towards the Newfoundland shore, I wouldn’t hold my breath for it. Better to just enjoy the coast as it is right now. 🙂

Tracking the 2021 ice season #1

Halfway through February my attention is always drawn to the North, where sea ice flows down the Labrador shore, slowly making its way to Newfoundland.

This year’s first look reveals there isn’t a whole lot of ice out there at the moment, it’s especially striking in a side-by-side comparison with last year:

Mid-February Ice Chart 2020 vs 2021

Looking back through the archives, sea ice has usually been more widespread by this time of year. To see a similarly minimal ice season we have to go back to 2010:

Mid-February Ice Chart 2010 to 2019

After the no-ice season of 2010, I kept an eye on the situation in 2011 and anticipated the sea ice wouldn’t make it to St. John’s that year either, so I ended up driving to Twillingate and Fogo Island to experience the ice there.

By the look of today’s chart, I think it’s safe to say we won’t be seeing any sea ice in St. John’s this year either, but it will likely flow down a little further than it is right now. To La Scie maybe? To Twillingate and Fogo? We’ll know more in the coming 2 months, so I’ll keep an eye on it and let you know.

January on the trail

Come for the snow, stay for the scenery: winter is a great time to be outside.

Around St. John’s, there are few places better to enjoy the outdoors than the East Coast Trail:

Winter sunrise on the trail – Logy Bay

Crowberry heath under a cover of snow – Logy Bay

Sunrise shadow – Snowshoeing to the Spout

Snowy day at Shoe Cove – Stiles Cove Path, East Coast Trail

Cliffs of the East Coast Trail – Cobbler Path

Evening light and falling snowflakes – Cobbler Path

Of course, winter does require you to watch your step a little more than usual:

Icy steps – Father Troy’s Trail

Stay safe and have fun out there 🙂

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