With April just around the corner, let’s try to work out what kind of iceberg season 2017 will bring.
Below you’ll find 10 years of Canadian Ice Service iceberg charts for every March 31 (today) and every May 20 (the usual ‘peak’ of the Avalon iceberg season), gathered side by side in order to see how the 2 dates compare over the course of each season:
Without even clicking on the charts you can see which seasons are good and which are poor. The numbers in the map grids represent the number of icebergs in that area, and in the overview you can see that 2010, 2011 and 2013 were lacklustre iceberg years (for the Avalon Peninsula), and what’s more, you could already tell that by looking at the March 31 charts.
This numbers game works the other way around too, but with a provision. In some years you can see the numbers are promising early on, a good sign, but without accounting for wind and weather there’s no way of knowing if those numbers will show up near shore. If an iceberg is further out than a few kilometres, it’s just a white dot on the horizon, and you’ll need to hop on a tour boat to see it from up close.
On the other hand, we only need a small number of bergs near shore to have some happy iceberg watchers!
Now that we’ve gained these little insights from studying the past, let’s have a look at the present:
That’s today’s iceberg chart, and as you can see the season looks quite promising, leaning towards becoming a good season. There is a decent number of icebergs near the Avalon already, so get ready to see them arrive along the East Coast Trail soon, maybe even this weekend. In northern Newfoundland, numbers are closer to the sluggish 2013 season, so we’ll have to wait and see how it turns out there, but I’m thinking it’ll either be normal or good.
In the end, predicting an iceberg season comes down to keeping your eye on the ball: you just have to watch where it’s going – daily iceberg charts can be found here.