Update: Killer Whales Freed From Hudson Bay Ice

By , Senior Meteorologist
January 12, 2013; 7:13 AM
Share |

12:20 p.m. EST
The Associated Press: "About a dozen killer whales that were trapped under sea ice appeared to be free after the ice shifted, a leader of a northern Canada village said Thursday."

Trapped under arctic ice, this rare video shows the whales desperately trying to get the air they need to survive.

A pod of around 12 whales, first spotted Wednesday, are confined to a small patch of open water slightly bigger than a pickup truck in Inukjuak, Quebec, Canada. Inukjuak is more than 900 miles north of Montreal.

Killer whales, being mammals, must breathe air. However, most of the area is now solidly covered in ice. Ice analysis shows at least 90 percent ice coverage throughout Hudson Bay and the Hudson Strait. The Hudson Strait links the bay to the open, ice-free Labrador Sea, roughly 700 miles away.

According to a local resident interviewed by Reuters, it's unusual to see killer whales in the area in January, but the ice-over happened later than usual this year. Local residents have no means to help the orcas; they have asked the Canadian government to send an icebreaker.

The normal January high temperature for the area is 5 below zero F with a low around 18 below zero F. Temperatures locally will be somewhat above normal -- still well below freezing -- through about Monday, followed by somewhat colder-than-normal weather next week.


Comments left here should adhere to the AccuWeather.com Community Guidelines. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.

More Weather News

  • Heavy Rain to Soak Great Falls to Winnipeg

    August 22, 2014; 9:59 AM ET

    A swath of steady, soaking rain will slowly shift from the northern Plains to the Canadian Prairies this weekend, making people reach for their umbrellas.

Daily U.S. Extremes

past 24 hours

  Extreme Location
High N/A
Low N/A
Precip N/A


This Day In Weather History

Boston, MA (1851)
Track of tornado - Waltham, Belmont, Arlington (see other 1843 stories around this time). Apparently caused by excessively humid S or SW flow at western edge of a Bermuda high.

Woodland, WI (1857)
42 miles west of Milwaukee at night - "Every building save one blown down; freight cars blown off the track."

San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico (1906)
103 degrees, hottest ever in Puerto Rico.