Tag Archives: Norwegian Meteorological Institute

JUNE KNOW, IT’S HOTTER THAN EVER: Record-high average temperature of 6°C at Svalbard Airport during month is 2.4°C above average as alarming warming trend accelerates


Photo courtesy of the Norwegian Meteorological Institute

Various headlines about things such as Svalbard warming five to seven times as fast as the rest of the planet were prominent in worldwide media throughout June, so it’s fitting the average temperature for the month at Svalbard Airport was a record-high 6°C, 2.4°C above the average during the years 1991-2020.

MARCHING ON HIGH: New temperature record for month as Ny-Ålesund hits 5.5C on Wednesday – 17C above normal – and 42.6mm of rain falls; Longyearbyen also gets wet thaw


Photo by Ine-Therese Pedersen / Norwegian Meteorological Institute

Surely there are upsides to mountainsides and streets being filled with tons of flowing slush during a torrential rain. But for experts and mere mortals opining about a record heat wave hitting Svalbard on Wednesday the only optimism was about returning to typical subzero winter conditions – and even that brings its own deluge of problems.

WALLOPING WIND ON WEDNESDAY: Hurricane-force winds of 126 km/h, blowing snow in Longyearbyen prompt warning to secure objects, avoid travel in exposed areas

A blizzard with hurricane-force winds up to 126 kilometers an hour is expected to hit Longyearbyen and Nordenskiöld Land on Wednesday, with officials urging residents to secure loose objects, avoid unnecessay travel in exposed areas and exercise extreme caution if navigating at sea.

LAST SNOWSTORM BEFORE SUMMER? Of course it might snow then as well (although it’s increasingly rare), but no more is forecast in Longyearbyen during the last week of spring


Freakish early- and mid-June heat waves are being felt across the globe – including 50°C (122°F) in the Middle East and record temperatures near that the southwest United States – but locals in Longyearbyen found themselves brushing snow off their windshields Monday during what might be the last snowstorm before summer.

LONGYEARBYEN’S AVERAGE TEMPERATURE NOW 2.8C WARMER: Update to 30-year average is 4.5C warmer during coldest months, 1.5C higher during warmest months


Those who called Longyearbyen’s infamous 111-month streak of above-average temperatures during most of the 2010s a lot statistically outdated hot air are proving to be prophetic, as an update to the official 30-year average at Svalbard Airport show the mean annual temperature is now -3.9C, compared to the average of -6.7C used for the past three decades.

HOT AND WET IN THE DARK: New high temperature record for Svalbard as area between Longyearbyen and Svea goes from 3.9C to 9.4C between midnight and 1 a.m. Thursday


A year where the weather in Svalbard is as extreme as the rest of the surreality of 2020 set another record early Thursday morning as the temperature in an area between Longyearbyen and Svea rose from 3.9 degrees Celsius at midnight to all-time high for the archipelago on this date of 9.4 degrees, according to the Norwegian Meteorological Institute.

HOTTEST SUMMER EVER IN SVALBARD: Temperature was 3C above ‘normal,’ including hottest day ever – but archipelago has been abnormally warm for the past three decades


Photo by Jesper Madsen /Norwegian Polar Institute

It’s not exactly a shock that a summer that saw Svalbard’s hottest day in recorded history is also the hottest summer in history, with an average temperature of three degrees Celsius above normal.

But while unusually warm, that “normal” is a somewhat skewed figure since it omits a marked period of overall warming during the past 30 years.

LOADED 22: Record high temperature predicted Saturday for Longyearbyen. But don’t kill yourself – things will be ‘normal’ again the next morning


It’s going to be 10 degrees Celsius on Friday morning and 10 degrees again on Sunday morning, so how radically different could things possible be in the interim?

About as radical as it can get, it turns out, as the Norwegian Meteorological Institute is predicting Longyearbyen will set a new all-time record high temperature of 22 degrees Celsius, exceeding the current record of 21.3 degrees set in 1979.

UNLUCKY SEVEN: A new study takes Longyearbyen’s ‘warming faster than anywhere’ claim to yet another level – twice the Arctic average and seven times the Earth’s


Chart showing number of days under -10C in Longyearbyen since 1910 by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute.

It’s starting to resemble a bidding war.

For a while Longyearbyen was warming twice as fast as Earth, a couple years ago it was three times, late last year all of Svalbard earned a six times claim, and now Longyearbyen has reclaimed the high spot with a new study relying in part on lost documents literally found deep underground that show warming is happening seven times faster.

Furthermore, now that “twice as fast” designation now applies to Longyearbyen compared to the rest of the Arctic, according to the study.

THE TEMPERATURE STREAK IS OVER! Longyearbyen was 0.5C colder than “normal” in March, ending 111 months of above-average temperatures


This is not a joke

No, really, this is not a joke.

Oh, for the Love Of Cod do you really think during a time of unthinkable crisis like this…OK, OK, maybe you believe we’re reporting the truth now.

But March was certainty a freaky enough month in Longyearbyen (and the rest of the world) that April Fool’s Day seems an appropriate date for Longyearbyen’s 111-month streak of above-average temperatures to come to an end, according to the Norwegian Meteorological Institute. The average temperature at Svalbard Airport was minus 16.2 degrees, 0.5 degrees below the historic average of minus 15.7 degrees between 1961 and 1990 (a figure which, of course, hasn’t represented “average” locally for many years and will be replaced by the average between 1991-2020 starting next year).