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2017-18 Arctic cyclone season
2017-18ArcticSeasonSummary.png
First storm formed October 4, 2017
Last storm dissipated January 6, 2018
Strongest storm Occasion - 891 mb, 185 mph (1-minute sustained)
Total depressions 17
Total storms 17
Polar cyclones 11
Major polar cyclones 5
Total fatalities Unknown
Total damage Unknown

The 2017-18 Arctic cyclone season was an above average season of polar cyclone formation in the Arctic basin. The season officially began on October 15, 2017 and ended on January 7, 2018, with the start date being moved up to October 15 due to the recent uptick in early-season activity. The season officially began with the formation of Subpolar Depression One early on October 4, 11 days before the official start of the season. The season ended with Polar Storm Poinsettia becoming post-polar on January 6. This season reused the same naming list as the 2015-16 season two years earlier, with the exception of the retired name Noel.

The Bob Nekaro Weather Center (BNWC) monitors the basin including the Hudson Bay, the Baffin Bay, the Labrador Sea, the Atlantic north of 50 degrees North, and the North Sea. Featuring 17 named storms, this season was much more active than the previous season. This season featured an extremely rare event, when four named storms where simultaneously active late on December 11.

Seasonal Forecasts

Predictions of polar cyclone activity in the 2017-18 season
Source Date Named
storms
Polar cyclones Major
polar cyclones
Average (1980-2016) 14.8 8.1 3.5
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
BNWC July 21, 2017 5-8 2-4 1-2
GIHC August 10, 2017 5-6 1-2 0-2
CDMC August 10, 2017 7-9 2-4 0-3
BNWC September 11, 2017 6-9 2-5 1-3
HTMC September 11, 2017 7-11 3-5 1-3
NKWC September 11, 2017 11 6 2
FMC/PLS September 11, 2017 8-12 3-7 0-3
GIHC September 13, 2017 9-12 4-7 1-4
MHMWS September 15, 2017 4-7 2-3 1-2
BNWC October 2, 2017 9-13 4-8 2-4
HOWC October 2, 2017 12 7 3
CSHC October 17, 2017 11 6 3
BNWC November 1, 2017 11-16 5-10 3-5
FMC/PLS November 3, 2017 10-15 4-9 2-5
PMC November 3, 2017 11-17 5-11 2-4
PMC November 17, 2017 15-22 7-13 3-7
BNWC November 20, 2017 13-18 6-11 3-6
M99MC November 29, 2017 16-24 8-14 4-7
GIHC December 6, 2017 17 11 5
Actual activity
17 11 5

On July 21, the BNWC issued their initial seasonal forecast for the 2017-18 season, predicting below average activity with 5-8 named storms, 2-4 polar cyclones and 1-2 major polar cyclones. The prediction was based on higher-than-normal wind shear over the Arctic. On August 10, the Garfield International Hurricane Center released its forecast, predicting below-average activity with 5-6 named storms, 2-4 polar cyclones and 0-2 major polar cyclones. That same day, the Collin D Meteorological Center released its forecast, predicting 7-9 named storms, 2-4 polar cyclones, and 0-3 major polar cyclones. The BNWC issued an updated forecast on September 11, raising their numbers slightly as wind shear was not expected to be as strong in the Arctic basin as expected two months ago. That same day, HTMC released its prediction, predicting below average activity with 7-11 named storms, 3-5 polar cyclones, and 1-3 major polar cyclones. The NKWC released their prediction that day as well, predicting 11 named storms, 6 polar cyclones and 2 major polar cyclones. Floyd Meteorological Center also released their prediction on September 11, predicting slightly below average activity with 9-12 named storms, 3-7 polar cyclones and 0-3 major polar cyclones. On September 13, GIHC updated their forecast, raising their numbers to 9-12 named storms, 4-7 polar cyclones, and 1-4 major polar cyclones. On September 15, Money Hurricane Massachusetts Weather Service released their forecast, predicting 4-7 named storms, 2-3 polar cyclones and 1-2 major polar cyclones. On October 2, BNWC released their October forecast, raising their numbers to 9-13 named storms, 4-8 polar cyclones and 2-4 major polar cyclones. Conditions were not expected to be as hostile as expected in earlier forecasts. On October 2, HOWC released its forecast, predicting 12 named storms, 7 polar cyclones and 3 major polar cyclones. On October 17, CSHC released their first forecast for the season, predicting 11 named storms, 6 polar cyclones and 3 major polar cyclones.

Mid-season outlooks

On November 1, BNWC updated their numbers, raising their prediction to 11-16 named storms, 5-10 polar cyclones and 3-5 major polar cyclones, as more conducive conditions had emerged than originally predicted by forecast models, as well as a fast start to the season. On November 3, both FMC/PLS and PMC released outlooks, predicting near average activity. PMC issued an updated forecast on November 17, predicting above average to even hyperactive activity based on the fast start to the season. On November 20, BNWC issued their final forecast for the season, predicting above average activity. On November 29, M99MC issued their only forecast well into the season, calling for above average to hyperactive activity due to their models showing very ripe development conditions in December.

Seasonal Summary

Polar Cyclone Icicle (2017)Polar Cyclone Eggnog (2017) The 2017-18 Arctic cyclone season officially began on October 15, 2017, and will end on January 7, 2018. This is the third Arctic cyclone season to be monitored by the Bob Nekaro Weather Center.

October

Activity began before the season officially began for the third consecutive year. The first cyclone of the season, Subpolar Depression One, formed early on October 4 over the Labrador Sea. One became fully polar the next day, although it did not strengthen initially. The depression opened up into a polar wave and later regenerated into a polar cyclone on October 9, and was named Polar Storm Angel that day. Angel made landfall on Baffin Island on October 10, dissipating the next day. Three days after Angel dissipated, Polar Storm Bell formed over the southwestern Hudson Bay the day before the season officially began. Bell made landfall in Nunavut, Canada on October 16 and dissipated early on October 17. At 15:00 UTC on October 31, Polar Depression Three formed over the Baffin Bay.

November

At 03:00 UTC on November 1, Three strengthened into Polar Storm Candle, the third named storm of the season. Candle eventually strengthened into the first polar cyclone of the season 24 hours later. Candle made landfall in Northwestern Greenland late on November 2, dissipating early on November 4. Polar Depression Four formed over the Labrador Sea late on November 9, strengthening into Polar Storm Donner the next day. Donner then intensified into a Weak Polar Cyclone early on November 11, the second of the season. Donner transitioned into a Post-Polar Cyclone two days later.

Early on November 15, Polar Storm Eggnog formed over the Southern Hudson Bay. The next day, Fir formed over the Open Atlantic. Fir dissipated on November 17, while Eggnog intensified into a Weak Polar Cyclone and made landfall in Southampton Island, Canada. Eggnog then fluctuated in intensity for the next few days, before a new strengthening phase began on November 21. That same day, Polar Depression Seven formed over the Labrador Sea. On November 22, Eggnog rapidly intensified into a Severe Polar Cyclone, while Polar Depression Seven strengthened into Polar Storm Gingerbread. Eggnog made landfall in Northwestern Greenland as a Severe Polar Cyclone at 21:00 UTC on November 23; Gingerbread further strengthened into an Intense Polar Cyclone by 15:00 UTC on November 24. Eggnog finally dissipated at 03:00 UTC on November 25, while Gingerbread dissipated at 21:00 UTC on November 26. Activity came to a brief pause in late November, before Polar Depression Eight formed on November 28, becoming Polar Storm Holly later that same day. Holly rapidly intensified into a Weak Polar Cyclone by 12:30 UTC on November 29, before weakening the next day.

Featuring five total polar systems forming in the month, November 2017 was much more active than the November of the previous season which only featured one named storm (Dancer).

December

Holly made landfall in Polar Bear Provincial Park as a weak Polar Storm at 03:00 UTC on December 1. Holly rapidly dissipated 12 hours later, while at the same time Polar Storm Icicle formed in the Labrador Sea. Icicle underwent a period of rapid intensification and became a major polar cyclone the next day. Icicle acquired catastrophic polar cyclone status on December 5. On that same day, Subpolar Storm Jolly formed south of Iceland, and Polar Depression Eleven formed over the Labrador Sea. Eleven strengthened into Polar Storm Kris early the next day, resulting in three named storms active at the same time for the first time since 2015.

The current Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) for the 2017-18 Arctic cyclone season, as of 03:00 UTC December 12, is 116.1125 units.

Systems

Polar Storm Angel

Polar Storm (BNWC)
Angel2017Image2.png Angel2017Track.png
Duration October 4 – October 11
Peak intensity 50 mph (85 km/h) (1-min)  1003 mbar (hPa)
The BNWC began monitoring the southeastern Labrador Sea for possible polar or subpolar development on September 29. At 00:00 UTC on October 4, the disturbance developed into a subpolar depression, the first of the season, 11 days before the season officially began. The depression moved slowly northwestward, transitioning into a fully polar cyclone by 18:00 UTC that same day. The polar depression failed to strengthen as its forward speed increased the next day, and at 12:00 UTC on October 6, the depression degenerated into a polar wave. The polar wave became better organized on October 7 as winds increased to polar storm force, although the remnants did not have a well-defined circulation at that time. The polar wave's circulation became better defined the next day, and it is estimated that the wave developed into Polar Storm Angel at 00:00 UTC on October 9. However, operationally, BNWC restarted advisories on Polar Depression One at 03:00 UTC on October 9, while it was located over the Davis Strait. It was operationally named six hours later. Angel strengthened slightly, peaking with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph and a minimum pressure of 1003 mbar by 18:00 UTC on October 9. Angel then began to weaken shortly thereafter, and made landfall in Baffin Island as a polar storm with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and a minimum pressure of 1006 mbar. After landfall, Angel began to weaken, becoming a polar depression by 00:00 UTC on October 11. Angel dissipated over Baffin Island at 12:00 UTC that same day.

Polar Storm Bell

Polar Storm (BNWC)
PSBELLTEST.png Bell2017Track.png
Duration October 14 – October 17
Peak intensity 70 mph (110 km/h) (1-min)  989 mbar (hPa)
A broad area of low pressure over the southwestern Hudson Bay acquired sufficient organization to be classified as Polar Storm Bell at 15:00 UTC on October 14. Bell began to strengthen shortly after formation, eventually strengthening to peak intensity just under polar cyclone strength with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph and a minimum pressure of 989 mb at 03:00 UTC on October 16. Bell weakened slightly before making landfall in the Nunavut Province of Canada around 11:30 UTC on October 16, with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph and a minimum pressure of 994 mb. Bell then began to rapidly weaken later that day as it moved north-northwestward inland. Bell degenerated into a remnant low at 03:00 UTC on October 17.

Weak Polar Cyclone Candle

Weak Polar Cyclone (BNWC)
Candle2017Image.png Candle2017Track.png
Duration October 31 – November 4
Peak intensity 80 mph (130 km/h) (1-min)  979 mbar (hPa)
A polar wave developed into Polar Depression Three at 15:00 UTC on October 31, located over the Southern Baffin Bay. Twelve hours later, the depression strengthened into Polar Storm Candle. Candle gradually became better organized the next day, nearing polar cyclone strength by 21:00 UTC on November 1. At 03:00 UTC on November 2, Candle strengthened into a weak polar cyclone, becoming the first polar cyclone of the season. Candle made landfall at 23:55 UTC that day, east of Savissivik, Greenland, as a weak polar cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph. Candle then weakened to a polar storm by 03:00 UTC on November 3. Candle further weakened to a polar depression by 21:00 UTC that day, degenerating into a remnant low by 03:00 UTC on November 4.

Moderate Polar Cyclone Donner

Moderate Polar Cyclone (BNWC)
Donner2017Image.png Donner2017Track.png
Duration November 9 – November 13
Peak intensity 105 mph (165 km/h) (1-min)  970 mbar (hPa)
On November 7, the BNWC began to monitor a slow-moving polar wave over the Eastern Labrador Sea for possible development. The system quickly organized, becoming a polar depression by 22:30 UTC on November 9. At 03:00 UTC on November 10, the depression strengthened into a Polar Storm and was assigned the name Donner. Donner began quickly intensifying that same day, becoming a Weak Polar Cyclone by 03:00 UTC on November 11 and a Moderate Polar Cyclone 12 hours later. Donner then began to slowly weaken early the next day as it moved into a less favorable environment, transitioning into a post-polar cyclone by 09:00 UTC on November 13.

Severe Polar Cyclone Eggnog

Main article: Polar Cyclone Eggnog (2017)
Severe Polar Cyclone (BNWC)
Eggnog new peak.png Eggnog2017Track.png
Duration November 15 – November 25
Peak intensity 145 mph (230 km/h) (1-min)  935 mbar (hPa)
A broad area of low pressure developed over the Southern Hudson Bay in mid-November eventually organized into Polar Storm Eggnog by 03:00 UTC on November 15. Eggnog struggled to strengthen after formation due to marginally favorable conditions and the broad nature of the system, unexpectedly weakening to a polar depression by 21:00 UTC that same day. Eggnog regained polar storm intensity by 03:00 UTC on November 17, and began to strengthen. Eggnog rapidly intensified into a Weak Polar Cyclone by 03:00 UTC on November 18, with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph and a minimum pressure of 983 mb. Eggnog subsequently made landfall in Southampton Island at this intensity, and weakened to a polar storm later that same day. Eggnog's intensity fluctuated for the next couple days before it began to strengthen once again on November 21, rapidly intensifying into a Moderate Polar Cyclone by 03:00 UTC on November 22. Rapid intensification continued and Eggnog became a Severe Polar Cyclone by 15:00 UTC that same day, making it the first major polar cyclone of the season. Eggnog eventually made landfall in Northwestern Greenland at 21:00 UTC on November 23 as a Severe Polar Cyclone. Steady weakening followed, and Eggnog became a remnant low by 03:00 UTC on November 25.

Polar Storm Fir

Polar Storm (BNWC)
Fir.jpeg Fir2017Track.png
Duration November 16 – November 17
Peak intensity 40 mph (65 km/h) (1-min)  1008 mbar (hPa)
A small area of low pressure developed into Polar Storm Fir at 15:00 UTC on November 16, while located over the open Northern Atlantic. Struggling with very dry air and moderate wind shear, Fir was not able to strengthen at all, eventually weakening to a polar depression by 15:00 UTC the next day and becoming a remnant low six hours later.

Intense Polar Cyclone Gingerbread

Intense Polar Cyclone (BNWC)
Gingerbread peak intensity.png Gingerbread2017Track.png
Duration November 21 – November 26
Peak intensity 115 mph (185 km/h) (1-min)  968 mbar (hPa)
A polar wave organized into Polar Depression Seven by 21:00 UTC on November 21 over the Labrador Sea. 18 hours later, it strengthened into Polar Storm Gingerbread. Gingerbread became a Weak Polar Cyclone by 15:00 UTC on November 23, and an Intense Polar Cyclone by 15:00 UTC on November 24, making it the second major polar cyclone of the season. Gingerbread peaked at this time with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph and a minimum pressure of 968 mbar. Gingerbread then steadily weakened, making landfall around 19:00 UTC on November 25 near Nuuk, Greenland as a Weak Polar Cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph and a minimum pressure of 974 mbar. Gingerbread rapidly weakened after landfall and dissipated by 21:00 UTC on November 26.

Weak Polar Cyclone Holly

Weak Polar Cyclone (BNWC)
Counterclockwise vortex Holly2017Track.png
Duration November 28 – December 1
Peak intensity 85 mph (140 km/h) (1-min)  985 mbar (hPa)
The remnants of Polar Vortex Francine from the Alaskan basin degenerated into a remnant low on November 25. They emerged into the Hudson Bay early on November 27, and redeveloped into the eighth polar depression of the season by 15:00 UTC the next day. The depression was upgraded to Polar Storm Holly at 22:25 UTC based on radar data. Holly then unexpectedly rapidly intensified, becoming a Weak Polar Cyclone by 12:30 UTC the next day. Holly then intensified to its peak intensity with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph and a minimum pressure of 985 mbar by 15:00 UTC that same day. However, Holly began to turn to the south and weaken, falling below Polar Cyclone Status by 15:00 UTC on November 30. Holly continued to weaken, and made landfall in Polar Bear Provincial Park at 03:00 UTC on December 1 with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph. Holly rapidly weakened and dissipated 12 hours later.

Catastrophic Polar Cyclone Icicle

Catastrophic Polar Cyclone (BNWC)
Icicle peak intensity.png Icicle2017Track.png
Duration December 1 – December 14
Peak intensity 165 mph (270 km/h) (1-min)  918 mbar (hPa)
A polar wave developed into Polar Storm Icicle at 15:00 UTC on December 1 over the Labrador Sea. Icicle rapidly intensified into a Weak Polar Cyclone by 09:00 UTC on December 2, an Intense Polar Cyclone by 21:00 UTC, and a Severe Polar Cyclone by 03:00 UTC the next day. Icicle fluctuated in intensity for the next couple of days, before strengthening into a Catastrophic Polar Cyclone by 21:00 UTC on December 5.

Subpolar Storm Jolly

Subpolar Storm (BNWC)
Counterclockwise vortex
Duration December 5 – December 7
Peak intensity 65 mph (100 km/h) (1-min)  997 mbar (hPa)
A non-polar area of low pressure rapidly developed in Subpolar Storm Jolly at 17:00 UTC on December 5.

Severe Polar Cyclone Kris

Severe Polar Cyclone (BNWC)
Counterclockwise vortex
Duration December 5 – December 12
Peak intensity 130 mph (215 km/h) (1-min)  950 mbar (hPa)

Moderate Polar Cyclone Lantern

Moderate Polar Cyclone (BNWC)
Counterclockwise vortex
Duration December 11 – December 19
Peak intensity 110 mph (175 km/h) (1-min)  966 mbar (hPa)
Polar Storm Lantern formed at 15:00 UTC on December 11 over the Hudson Bay.

Polar Storm Merry

Polar Storm (BNWC)
Counterclockwise vortex
Duration December 11 – December 12
Peak intensity 45 mph (75 km/h) (1-min)  1001 mbar (hPa)

Weak Polar Cyclone North

Weak Polar Cyclone (BNWC)
Counterclockwise vortex
Duration December 19 – December 24
Peak intensity 75 mph (120 km/h) (1-min)  988 mbar (hPa)

Moderate Polar Cyclone Thomas

Moderate Polar Cyclone (BNWC)
Counterclockwise vortex
Duration December 20 (entered basin) – December 22
Peak intensity 100 mph (155 km/h) (1-min)  946 mbar (hPa)

Catastrophic Polar Cyclone Occasion

Catastrophic Polar Cyclone (BNWC)
Counterclockwise vortex
Duration December 24 – December 30
Peak intensity 185 mph (295 km/h) (1-min)  891 mbar (hPa)

Polar Storm Poinsettia

Polar Storm (BNWC)
Counterclockwise vortex
Duration January 2 – January 6
Peak intensity 65 mph (100 km/h) (1-min)  992 mbar (hPa)

Names Used

This season will use the same Christmas-themed naming list as the 2015-16 Arctic Cyclone Season, with the exception of North, which replaced the retired name Noel.

  • Angel
  • Bell
  • Candle
  • Donner
  • Eggnog
  • Fir
  • Gingerbread
  • Holly
  • Icicle
  • Jolly
  • Kris
  • Lantern
  • Merry
  • North
  • Occasion
  • Poinsettia
  • Ribbon (unused)
  • Sleigh (unused)
  • Turkey (unused)
  • Vacation (unused)
  • Wreath (unused)

One storm, Thomas, crossed over from the Alaskan basin and retained its name.

Season effects

This is a table of all the cyclones that have formed in the 2017-18 Arctic cyclone season. Damage figures are denoted in millions of United States Dollars (USD). Death and damage totals also include totals when the cyclone was post-polar, a low, or a polar wave.

2017-18 Arctic Cyclone Season statistics
Storm name Dates active Storm category

at peak intensity

Max 1-min wind

mph (km/h)

Min.press.(mbar) Areas affected Damage (millions USD) Deaths
Angel October 4 - 11 Polar storm 50 (80) 1003 Baffin Island Minimal None
Bell October 14 - 17 Polar storm 70 (115) 989 Nunavut 0.05 None
Candle October 31 - November 4 Weak polar cyclone 80 (130) 979 Northwestern Greenland Unknown None
Donner November 9 - 13 Moderate polar cyclone 105 (170) 970 None None None
Eggnog November 15 - 25 Severe polar cyclone 145 (235) 935 Southampton Island, Baffin Island, Northwestern Greenland >1,085 19 (1)
Fir November 16 - 17 Polar storm 40 (65) 1008 None None None
Gingerbread November 21 - 26 Intense polar cyclone 115 (185) 968 Western Greenland 112 1
Holly November 28 - December 1 Weak polar cyclone 85 (135) 985 Polar Bear Provincial Park Unknown None
Icicle December 1 - 14 Catastrophic polar cyclone 165 (265) 918 None None None
Jolly December 5 - 7 Subpolar storm 65 (105) 997 Iceland Unknown None
Kris December 5 - 12 Severe polar cyclone 130 (210) 950 Southeastern Greenland, Iceland None None
Lantern December 11 - 19 Moderate polar cyclone 110 (175) 966 Mansel Island, Nunavut Unknown Unknown
Merry December 11 - 12 Polar storm 45 (70) 1001 None None None
North December 19 - 24 Weak polar cyclone 75 (65) 988 Western Greenland None None
Thomas December 20 (entered basin) - 22 Moderate polar cyclone 100 (160) 946 None None None
Occasion December 24 - 30 Catastrophic polar cyclone 185 (295) 891 Nunavut Unknown None
Poinsettia January 2 - 6 Polar storm 65 (105) 992 Iceland Unknown None
Season Aggregates
17 systems October 4 - January 6, 2018 185 (295) 891 > 1,197.05 20 (1)

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