Current & Future Conditions

What’s going on today and does the future look like for the North Atlantic – Arctic Ocean Region?

Here are some links to various websites with current and future conditions.

  • Arctic sea ice is both an indicator of and contributor to the weather of the Arctic and, in affecting the region’s energy balance, an influence on the weather of the mid-latitudes. The changing state of ice extent  and other characteristics are being continuously monitored and is shared via the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).
  • Air Traffic: While ships ply the Atlantic trade routes, airplanes overhead carry passengers in many directions and routes across the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. Flightaware shows flights now in the air give a sense of the great diversity of flight routes.
  • Hurricane and Tropical Cyclones roil the North Atlantic before impacting the Caribbean, Central and North America, and even northern Europe. The US Hurricane Predication Center provides up-to-date storm information for the Atlantic. The European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) provides up-to-date storm information for the world.
  • Sargassum, a brown floating seaweed, forms in polluted waters off West Africa and is carried westward across the Atlantic and north of South America into the Caribbean, piling up on the beaches of its islands and Central America, creating a significant waste problem and discouraging tourism. Satellite observations of sargassum patches are available from the University of South Florida and 8-day forecasts for selected islands and coastlines are available from Texas A&M Galveston.
  • Ship Traffic: The North Atlantic is a major corridor for the international trading of goods and resources, as evident in maps of up-to-date ship locations in and around the North Atlantic.
  • Weather (current): Warmer than the surrounding land areas in the winter and cooler in the summer, the North Atlantic Ocean exerts an important influence on the region’s weather and provides essential information for weather forecasting and safe passage by ships. 
  • Weather and Climate (anomalies)Differences of present conditions from normal (i.e., the average over the past few decades) give a sense of usual or unusual the situation is.