IcySea Ice Drift Forecasts

The IcySea Ice Drift Forecast layer shows for predefined points on the map the predicted pathways an imaginary ice floe would drift from that location over the course of the next few days. The distance between two points reflects a time span of 24 hours. The forecasts are provided by the Development Centre for Weather Forecasting of the Norwegian Meteorological Institute. It is a scientific data set and as for every forecast, they can be wrong. Information about forecast uncertainty is not yet included in the data set. But the general rule, that it becomes more uncertain with every day into the future, always applies.

Data source

Ice drift fields are produced from the TOPAZ4 ocean sea-ice data assimilation system (Sakov et al. 2012) which is being improved by means of random forest algorithms developed by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute (METNO) to better predict the direction and the ice drift speed for the greater Svalbard area (see here for more details).

Satellite-derived ice drift observations from Sentinel-1 (product SEAICE_GLO_SEAICE_L4_NRT_OBSERVATIONS_011_006) were used to develop and validate the calibrated forecasts.

Interpretation Guidelines

There are up to 10 points for every grid vertex with a 24 hour step in between the points. In other words, every point in the map represents a prediction of where an imaginary ice floe will be 24, 48, 72, ... etc. hours into the future from the grid point. Points are plotted less red and more white for each 24 hour time step. Since forecast uncertainties increase for predictions which are further in the future, the reddish points are more trustworthy than the whitish points.