Tag Archives: Norwegian Meteorological Institute

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

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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

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Longyearbyen’s infamous 111-month streak of above-average temperatures during most of the 2010s a lot statistically outdated hot air are proving to be prophetic, as an update to the official 30-year average at Svalbard Airport show the mean annual temperature is now -3.9C, compared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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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).

LEAPING TO 110 MONTHS: Extra-cold end to extra-long Feb. can’t break Longyearbyen’s above-average temperature streak

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There were more cold days than warm during this leap-year February but, sort of like trying to claim an election win based on “popular votes,” ultimately all that matters is the overall tally that resulted in Longyearbyen extending its streak of above-average temperatures to 110 months.

But probably more frustrating to most who embrace winter in Svalbard was a freakish low level of precipitation, continuing a well-below-average trend since October that has resulted in a major lack of snow that’s making many areas popular with snowmobilers and dogsledders dangerous or inaccessible.

ALERT (UPDATED 4 p.m. TUES:): Heavy snow and strong gale winds likely to result in high-risk avalanche and sea conditions through Thursday

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Update 4 p.m. Tuesday: The forecast now calls for strong gale winds throughout Tuesday, near-gale winds and moderate snow Wednesday, and gale winds and potentially heavy snow Thursday. The avalanche risk forecast through Wednesday remains at Level Three (out of five), but is Level Four is eastern and southern Svalbard.

Original story posted at 4 p.m. Monday: A blizzard with up to 12 millimeters of precipitation and strong gales winds to 86 kilometers an hour is forecast throughout most of Tuesday, resulting in high risks of avalanche and hazards at sea due to fracturing ice, according to the Norwegian Meteorological Institute.

STARTING NEW YEAR/DECADE OF ABNORMALITY: Streak of above-average temps in Longyearbyen extends to 109 months as December 2.6C warmer than normal

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Hey, at least this year we didn’t get rain during the Christmas holidays.

Longyearbyen’s streak of above-average temperatures is now more than nine years long at 109 months entering the 2020s as December’s average temperature of -10.8 degrees Celsius was 2.6 degrees warmer than the average of minus 13.4 degrees, according to the Norwegian Meteorological Institute. Of course, that “normal” average is based on the years 1960-1990, which plenty of experts say skews the “new normal” during the past few decades due to climate change.