Tag Archives: Norwegian Meteorological Institute

Hot and bothered: Longyearbyen’s temperatures more than 10C above normal from December to February


If you’re feeling like we’re in a god-awful cold spell, stop bitching: this is supposed to be normal weather this time of year. You just haven’t had a chance to get acclimated to it.

Temperatures in Longyearbyen were more than 10 degrees Celsius above normal during the months from December to February, according to the Norwegian Meteorological Institute. That’s part of a general trend across the Arctic that has resulted in record-low sea ice levels (none is expected to form in western Spitsbergen this year), far outpacing a 1.35-degree increase in global temperatures during 2015.

AVALANCHE UPDATE: Community meeting Tuesday; Queen Sonja and justice minister to visit Thursday-Friday


Queen Sonja and Norwegian Minister of Justice and Public Security Anders Anundsen are scheduled to visit Longyearbyen Thursday and Friday to meet with local leaders, rescue officials and volunteers, and those suffering the loss of homes and loved ones in the Dec. 19 avalanche.

AVALANCHE UPDATE: Storm w/ heavy precipitation, gale-force winds, temps to 7C expected Wed.-Thurs.; evacuation extended through New Year’s


A storm expected to bring heavy rain and sleet, gale-force winds and temperatures up to seven degrees Celsius between midnight Wednesday and Thursday night presents a risk of new avalanches, according to officials who have extended an evacuation order for 80 residents with homes in the highest-risk area through New Year’s Day.

The storm could bring up to 20 millimeters of precipitation – about the same as the snowfall that triggered the Dec. 19 avalanche that buried 11 homes and killed two people, although that storm occurred over a period of several hours – and winds up to 50 kilometers per hour, according to the Norwegian Meteorological Institute. The heaviest rainfall and highest temperatures are expected Thursday afternoon.

AVALANCHE UPDATE: Mixture of snow, rain and temps up to 5C next week ‘could be good or it could be really bad’


Rapidly rising temperatures expected to reach five degrees Celsius by Tuesday, and a mixture of rain and snow, could help settle avalanche-prone snow in Longyearbyen – or trigger it, one of two experts who surveyed the area last week said Sunday.

“It could be good be good or it could be really bad,” said Odd-Arne Mikkelsen of the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute. “It depends on the amount of precipitation, but right now it looks like small amount so that would be good.”

AVALANCHE UPDATE: Cold stabilizes snow conditions despite unfavorable winds, but heavy snow and temperatures above freezing forecast next week


Temperatures of about minus 15 degrees Celsius are stabilizing Longyearbyen’s snow-packed hillsides this weekend despite strong winds from the east that were a factor in last week’s avalanche, according to an assessment published Saturday morning by the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute.

Storm alert: Gale-force winds, heavy snow forecast Thursday night through Sunday


Update 1 p.m. Thursday: A more severe storm with winds in Longyearbyen reaching 80 kilometers an hour, with stronger hurricane-force winds surpassing 115 kp/h in exposed portions of the west coast of Spitsbergen, and about 32 millimeters of precipitation is now being forecast between Thursday night and midday Sunday by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute.

Original story: A major storm alert for Longyearbyen forecasting heavy snow and winds up to 70 kilometers an hour between Thursday evening and midday Sunday was issued Wednesday by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Aug. 4, 2015


There will be a discussion about ‘neger’ names, after all
Now that it’s gotten worldwide attention, a discussion about whether Svalbard has three locations with racist names is planned this fall by the Norwegian Polar Institute’s naming committee.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of May 19, 2015


Large rescue exercise shows vulnerabilities, report finds 
Svalbard generally has well-trained emergency rescue and medical personnel, but their relatively low number and lack of equipment is a significant vulnerability if a large-scale disaster occurs, according to a report by The Governor of Svalbard assessing a massive rescue exercise last November.