December 18, 2018 3:42 pm
Updated: December 18, 2018 3:44 pm

Atlantic Canada on track for a ‘very bad ice year,’ Coast Guard official says

The Canadian Coast guard's medium icebreaker Henry Larsen is seen in Allen Bay during Operation Nanook as Prime Minister Stephen Harper visits Resolute, Nunavut on the third day of his five day northern tour to Canada's Arctic on August 25, 2010.


Coast guard officials say Atlantic Canada is on track to see an uptick in sea ice this winter, with cold temperatures and high winds contributing to early ice growth.

Brad Durnford, superintendent of ice operations for the Atlantic region, told a media briefing today that the Canadian Coast Guard’s icebreaking operations have already assisted vessels trapped in ice.

He says the “freeze up” is occurring three to four weeks ahead of normal, with ice around Labrador so far this year above the 30-year average.

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While long-term trends show a reduction in the Arctic ice pack and sea ice in general, Durnford says it’s still possible to have a “very bad ice year” in Atlantic Canada.

However, he cautioned that weather in the region can “change on a dime” and that an extended warm-up could slow ice formation.

Meanwhile, coast guard officials say they are aware of the naming controversy surrounding the icebreaker CCGS Edward Cornwallis.

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Brian LeBlanc, acting assistant commissioner for the Atlantic region, says the federal agency will be discussing the vessel’s name in the future.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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