With warming temperatures and retreating sea ice, the Arctic Ocean is more accessible today than ever in modern history. This opening of the Arctic has led to an increase in activity that is expected to grow rapidly in coming years. Still, that Arctic remains a hostile and unforgiving environment with bitter cold, dense fog, and frequent storms. Operations in the Arctic now require weather forecasters to provide predictions on a regular basis. For forecasters unfamiliar with the Arctic, this can prove to be a daunting task. Not only are weather observations sparse over the Arctic, but the atmosphere is fundamentally different due to the extremes of continuous daylight in summer and darkness in winter.

I. Scenario: Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley enters the Arctic

This scenario follows the passage of the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley as it transits from Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands, through the Bering Strait, to Barrow Alaska, on the Arctic Ocean. Along the way, supporting lessons are presented in brief 5-10 minute sessions.

II. Lessons

This series of lessons supports the understanding of the meteorology and oceanography encountered in the scenario. While accessing the scenario, there are links to the lessons. Each lesson is also accessible here, separate from the scenario. The links to the lessons will open in a new browser window.