A weather observatory in Japan’s northernmost city of Wakkanai says it has spotted ice floes offshore for the first time this winter.
The observatory reported seeing ice drifting near the coast of Wakkanai on Wednesday. The observation was made 19 days earlier than usual.
The season’s first ice floes in the region are usually seen off Abashiri City on the Okhotsku Sea.
This is the first time since 1946 that weather officials in Wakkanai have observed ice floes earlier than Abashiri. Abashiri is more than 320 kilometers southeast of Wakkanai.
Weather officials say ice floes that had been drifting southward over the Okhotsk Sea were moved westward by the easterly winds of mid-January. They entered the Strait of Soya near Wakkanai. The officials say if northern winds become stronger, then, ice floes will approach Abashiri and other areas facing the Okhotsk Sea.
Source and image: NHK