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About SIDFEx

The Sea Ice Drift Forecast Experiment (SIDFEx) is a community effort to collect and analyse Arctic sea-ice drift forecasts at lead times from days to a year. The forecasts are made with various methods for drifting sea-ice buoys and, ultimately, the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC), a year-long trans-Arctic drift campaign commencing in autumn 2019. SIDFEx is part of the World Meteorological Organization’s Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) and inspired by increasing research and operational needs to forecast future positions of assets drifting in Arctic sea ice. A systematic assessment of real drift forecasting capabilities is also foreseen to improve our physical understanding of sea ice and to help identifying and resolving model shortcomings. Since the launch of SIDFEx in 2017, 14 groups have started contributing drift forecasts for selected buoys of the International Arctic Buoy Program (IABP) on a regular basis. Most groups derive their daily-to-seasonal forecasts by means of diagnostic Lagrangian tracking based on prediction drift fields of coupled or uncoupled general circulation models. Some groups submit ensembles of drift trajectories instead of single (deterministic) trajectories, and several groups submit their forecasts in (near-)real-time.

To learn more about SIDFEx, please visit our website.

About this site

This site is a webtool that allows you to:
  1. Get an overview on the current set of SIDFEx targets, including their past movements and their status (tab Observations).
  2. Explore the past forecasts and how they performed in comparison with obversations (tab Browse forecast archive).
  3. Retrieve (near-)real-time forecasts for the currently active SIDFEx targets (tab Most recent forecasts).


This site is based on R-Shiny and the SIDFEx R-package.

The coordination and implementation of SIDFEx and this webtool has been led by the research group Seamless Sea Ice Prediction (SSIP), which is funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF).


306169 forecasts
15 groups
31 methods
119 targets


Privacy Notice:

Dear visitors of the SIDFEx webtool, hosted by the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI).
To ensure that you feel secure when visiting our website, we would like to inform you below about how we handle your data. We neither publish your data nor pass it on to third parties without your consent. Below we explain what types of data we collect when you visit our web pages and precisely how it is used:

A. General information

1. Extent of data processing
We only process personal data collected from our users insofar as this is necessary for the provision of a functional web presence and our content and services. As a rule, personal data provided by our users is only processed with their consent. One exception is where statutory regulations permit the processing of data.
2. Legal basis for data processing
Art. 6 (1)(a) of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) serves as the legal basis whenever we obtain the consent of the person concerned ('data subject') for the processing of their personal data.

Art. 6 (1)(b) of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) serves as the legal basis for the processing of personal data which is necessary for performing a contract to which the data subject is a party. The same applies to processing that is required for carrying out pre-contractual measures.

Art. 6 (1)(f) of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) serves as the legal basis when processing is necessary to safeguard a legitimate interest of AWI or a third party, and provided this legitimate interest is not outweighed by the data subject’s interests and fundamental rights and freedoms.
3. Data erasure and storage duration
The personal data of the data subject is erased, anonymised or blocked as soon as the purpose of the storage ceases to apply. In addition, storage may take place if required by European or national law in EU regulations, laws or other regulations to which AWI is subject. Blocking, anonymisation or deletion of the data also takes place if a storage period prescribed by the standards mentioned expires, unless there is a need for further storage of the data in order to conclude or fulfil the contract.
4. Controller’s contact details
Data controller within the meaning of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other national data protection legislation as well as any other data protection regulations:

Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar-und Meeresforschung
Am Handelshafen 12
27570 Bremerhaven

Contact form:
5. Contact details of the data protection officer:
The controller's data protection officer is:
Christoph Wagner
Tel.: +49 (471) 4831-1637
E-mail: datenschutz(at)

B. Provision of the website and creation of log files

We store data relating to individual visits to our website for statistical purposes to improve the quality of our web pages. This data record consists of: the page from which the data file was requested, the name of the data file, the date and time of the query, the quantity of data transmitted, the status of access (the file was transmitted or the file was not found), a description of the type of web browser used, the IP address of the inquiring computer.
The data is stored in the log files of our systems. Storage of this data together with other personal data of the user does not take place. The legal basis for the temporary storage of data and the log files is Art. 6 (1)(f) of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Storage in log files is carried out to ensure the functionality of the website. In addition, the data is used to optimise the web pages, to carry out troubleshooting and to ensure the security of our IT systems. These purposes also constitute our legitimate interest in the data processing pursuant to Art. 6 (1)(f) of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The data is deleted as soon as it is no longer needed to achieve the purpose for which it was collected. In the case of data collection for the provision of the website, the data is deleted when the respective session has ended. If the data is stored in log files, it will be deleted after seven days at the latest. Further storage is possible, in which case the IP addresses are deleted or altered so that identification of the calling client is no longer possible.
The collection of data for the purpose of providing the website and storage of the data in log files is absolutely necessary for the operation of the website. Consequently, there is no right to objection on the part of the user.

C. Rights of the data subject

As the data subject whose personal data is collected within the scope of the above-mentioned services, you have the following rights, unless any legal exceptions apply in individual cases: Information (Art. 15 GDPR), Rectification (Art. 16 GDPR), Erasure (Art. 17 (1) GDPR), Restriction of processing (Art. 18 GDPR), Data portability (Art. 20 GDPR), Objection to processing (Art. 21 GDPR), Withdrawal of consent (Art. 7 (3) GDPR), Right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority (Art. 77 GDPR). For AWI, this is the Landesbeauftragte für den Datenschutz und Informationssicherheit (State Data Protection and Freedom of Information Officer), Arndtstrasse 1, 27570 Bremerhaven.

Oh Buoy!
This is an overview of the current positions of the SIDFEx targets. The coloured lines show the trajectories of the buoys and the circle indicates their latest position. You can choose between three different zoom options and by clicking the Download button you can save the generated plot as a pdf.

The table below lists all SIDFEx targets, their status, latest positions, and the time periods over which they have been considered as SIDFEx targets, based on the SIDFEx target table.

Here you can explore the past SIDFEx forecasts and how they performed in comparison to the observations. Please note that the speed-angle and error plots are neither available for fixed targets (TargetIDs starting with 'FIXED...') nor if you select more than one target at a time.
Here you can retrieve (near-)real-time forecasts for the currently active SIDFEx targets. Select a target, a target time (i.e. a time for which you want to get a drift forecast) and choose whether you want to shift and rotate the forecast trajectory to the latest known observed position (highly recommended for „operational“ use). Details for a particular forecast system/method can be obtained by clicking on one of the table rows; plots of the corresponding trajectories as well as time series of longitude and latitude appear next to the table. The default target time is (now + 24h). Note that the plots might need a few seconds to appear for larger ensembles or target times far into the future.