North Atlantic Weather Routes limited by Icebergs

500 mb chart

NOAA OPC 72 hour 500mb Forecast Chart

Upper-level blocking over the northeastern North Atlantic into northwestern Europe and a large cut-off low over the central North Atlantic, south of 40N latitude, will persist for the next few days. This pattern will allow for relatively light easterly winds and seas to persist across the North Atlantic north of  45N while strong to gale conditions persist south of 45N all the way down to 25N over the west-central North Atlantic. 

NOAA OPC 72 hour Surface Forecast

This pattern should allow shorter great circle routes between North Europe and the US East Coast, however, at this time the North Atlantic icebergs are drifting southward off of Newfoundland to near 45 N latitude limiting the shorter route options to keep clear of the icebergs.

North Atlantic Iceberg chart via North American Ice Service

About Fred Pickhardt

I am a marine meteorologist and sailed briefly with American Export Lines in the Far East trade after graduating from State University of New York Maritime College. I have extensive experience in weather analysis, weather forecasting, optimum ship routing, vessel performance evaluations and forensic weather event reconstructions. I founded Ocean Weather Services and as Owner and Chief Consultant currently provide optimum ship routing services and forensic marine weather reports to the maritime industry.
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