STORM ALERT: Gale winds exceeding 80 km/h at times, snow expected from midday Thursday until Friday morning

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A blizzard with strong gale-force winds peaking at more than 80 km/h and up to 6.2 millimeters (potentially 6-12 centimeters) of snow is forecast between noon  and 7 a.m. Friday, according to the Norwegian Meteorological Institute.

The forecast issued Tuesday calls for snow and gradually increasing winds all day Thursday, with gale-force winds from the east/northeast beginning around noon. The most intense snowfall is forecast between noon and 6 p.m.

Temperatures during peak wind periods are forecast to be minus five to minus six Celsius, resulting in a wind chill effects as low as minus 18 degrees.

The peak wind speeds are enough to tear windshields and other parts from snowmobiles, damage or overturn small boats, and send other loose objects such as wood pallets flying and causing damage. Svalbard Snøscooterutleie issued a warning Tuesday for customers whose snowmobiles have been serviced/repaired to pick them up before the storm hits, especially in the wake of intense storms with winds of lesser speeds in recent days.

“Already a number of snowmobiles are starting to blow over,” the notice stated.

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