Based on observations from satellites, we have reconstructed the window in which Teshekpuk becomes ice-free each summer since 1974. July 20th would be this day in a typical year over this period. But this summer Teshekpuk became ice free by the last day of June! The above average mean temperature for the month of June (43 degrees F as measured at the TLO) likely had something to do with the incredibly early ice off in 2015. It will be interesting to see what this early ice off means in terms of potentially heightened shoreline erosion of the permafrost bluffs that surround the lake.
Just wanted to take a short minute to say Happy Solstice from the TLO and share a graph of the record-setting temperatures that occurred during this 2015 Solstice week. It topped out at over 70 F yesterday!
There's been quite a few caribou migrating northeastward to their calving grounds, some already with their little ones in tow. I also saw a flock of eight beautiful king eider ducks fly by camp yesterday evening. Even though it's been relatively calm in terms of wind this week, it's pretty noisy outside with all of the birds on the tundra and in the lake as well as the eerie noises from the shifting ice pan that still covers >95% of the lake.
Here's a couple short video clips showing the initial demise of the great Teshekpuk iceberg and the solstice sun trying to dip below the horizon but not quite being able to.