It seems my forecast worked out well. From RT news:
A Russian-built ship stranded in the Antarctic ice has started moving away from the ice fields after a change of wind cleared its path. A Chinese icebreaker, which was caught herself on the way to rescue the vessel, has already reached clear waters.
Luckily, as the weather changed the danger threatening the trapped vessels decreased.
“The situation is favorable now. First, the wind changed direction from an Easterly to a North-Westerly, which changed the direction of ice drift. A large crack formed in the ice, and the ship is now navigating it,” Yury Volgov, director of the Far-Eastern Hydrometeorology Research Institute, which owns the Academician Shokalsky, told media.
The ship may escape the clutches of the ice field quite soon, ship captain Igor Kiselyov said.
“We are sailing at low speed, changing courses. We’ve traveled 20 miles so far. It’s difficult so far, with dense fog and visibility no further than 500 meters. But the ice is thinner and broken here, so we’re moving,” he said.
WUWT readers may recall that when U.S. TV meteorologists, including yours truly, were asked to assist in weather forecasting for the stranded vessel, I made a prediction on December 31st:
“In a couple of minutes John Coleman was back on the phone to me, he wanted my assessment of the maps. I had looked at what was happening and saw what I thought might be an opening in 7-8 days based on the forecast graphics from WeatherBell, where the winds would shift to offshore in the area where Akademik Shokalskiy was stuck.”
Here is the story of that forecast:
The Chinese ship Xue Long, which was caught in the ice pack herself on the way to rescue the Russian vessel, has already reached clear waters. From AMSA:
8:00am, Wednesday 8 January 2014
Both Antarctic vessels making progress through ice
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s (AMSA) Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC Australia) was informed early this morning that both the Akademik Shokalskiy and the Xue Long have managed to break free from heavy ice in Commonwealth Bay, Antarctica.
At about 730pm AEDT on Tuesday RCC Australia received a message from the Captain of the Akademik Shokalskiy stating that about three hours earlier cracks had started to open in the ice around the trapped vessel.
A short time later the Akademik Shokalskiy began to make slow movements in an attempt to break free from surrounding ice. The Captain reported that at approximately 8pm AEDT they had managed to successfully clear the area containing the heaviest ice and had begun making slow progress north through lighter ice conditions.
Shortly after midnight RCC Australia was advised by the Captain of the Xue Long that, at about 9pm AEDT, it too had managed to break free of the heavy ice and is now making slow progress through lighter ice conditions.
RCC Australia has advised the Captains of both vessels to attempt to reach open waters and advise the RCC once clear of the ice field. The Xue Long has advised RCC Australia it does not require any further assistance at this time. The Akademik Shokalskiy continues to move through the ice field and RCC Australia is awaiting confirmation that it does not require any further assistance.
The United States Coast Guard ice breaker Polar Star will continue to head towards the area until it is clear that both vessels are free of the ice field and no longer in danger.
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