More than 100 Beluga whales are trapped in ice in the frigid waters between Russia and Alaska.
Off the far-northeastern shore of Russia, near the Chukotka region, the whales are stuck primarily in two ice holes in the Sinyavinsky Straight.
AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Jim Andrews said that the area surrounding the Bering Straight, just northeast of where the whales are, is a "harsh climate." It is notorious for severe periodic wind and freezing temperatures. He said it is not uncommon for ice to form with holes in it.
"Sea ice does not form in nice, smooth predictable patterns," he said. "It can form with gaps."
This might explain how the whales got trapped.
"The sea ice is probably a little ahead of schedule [this year]," Andrews said.
For now, the whales can breathe, but there is little food, and their chances of swimming to water are small due to increasing ice, according to CNN.
Temperatures have actually been "warmer" than usual in towns and communities along the Bering Sea, averaging in the upper 20s over the past few days. Andrews said temperatures are around 8 to 14 degrees.
Whales getting trapped in Arctic waters is not uncommon, but it is rare that humans are aware of it. The last time Beluga whales were rescued nearing the Bering Straight was in 1986, CNN reported.
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An unusually strong push of cool air for early September will move southward along the Atlantic Seaboard into the Labor Day weekend, before July-like heat returns by next week.
While lulls in tropical activity in the Atlantic will continue, a rapid end to the hurricane season in September does not always occur during an El Nino.
Heat will be erased by an autumnlike air mass across parts of northern Europe.
While Tropical Storm Kevin will stay well away from Mexico, its moisture will still lead to an increase in showers and thunderstorms from Baja California to the Four Corners region of the United States.
A stormy weather pattern will prevail through September across much of southern South America.
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