First drift-ice reaches coast of Abashiri in Northeastern Hokkaido on January 31, eleven days earlier than last year

Drift ice floating in the vicinity of Abashiri port.

The Abashiri Local Meteorological Office announced the observation of the ‘first day of drift ice on the coast’ of the northeastern Hokkaido city of Abashiri on January 31. The sighting was 2 days earlier than average and 11 days earlier than last year.

 The coastline was covered in drift ice on the first day, preventing boats from leaving the port. Meteorological office employees visually confirmed the drift ice in the vicinity of Abashiri port at 3 p.m. on the 31st, as it drifted south in the Sea of Okhotsk.

 The ‘first day of drift ice’ – when ice floes can be confirmed by the naked eye from the land – was observed in Abashiri on January 17, four days earlier than usual. The drift ice was temporarily blown away from the shore due to southerly winds, but strong northerly winds on the 31st subsequently blew it to the shore.


Abashiri port