Tag Archives: storm

Deadly European snowpocalypse, Russian GPS jamming, oil drilling fiascos – here’s how Svalbard’s non-disaster storm made disaster news elsewhere

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It wasn’t just locals blowing it when it came to worries about last wind’s wind storm. It somehow showed up in global stories about storms in Europe that killed at least 26 people, fears about Mother Nature’s wrath as Norway’s government strives for “peak oil” in a few years and Russia allegedly jamming crucial GPS signals during the storm.

Random weirdness for the week of Jan. 15, 2019

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“Polar bear leaps onto a Russian nuclear submarine on the search for food after the crew dumped bags of rubbish into the Arctic.” And with that headline we’re off and running with an item that’s a perfect polar trifecta of weirdness.

Wind wimps? We survived the great gale of ’19 – or are we a bunch of weather weakings scorned by sturdy old-timers?

survivestorm

We escaped the howler unscathed. The howling, not so much.

Red-alert avalanche maps, headlines hollering about hurricanes and fears of fast flying objects sent Longyearbyen citizens scrambling for shelter while there was literally no wind at the miner’s statute in the town square at noon Thursday. And folks waited…and waited…for the big bad winds to blow their (or somebody’s) house down.

ALERT: Evacuation order lifted for Lia, Nybyen at 3 p.m. Friday as storm passes without avalanches or significant incidents in Longyearbyen

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The storm wasn’t as long or bad as predicted, and the same is now true for an evacuation order imposed early Thursday and expected to last until Saturday, as The Governor of Svalbard said occupants of more than 100 residences and dorms in Lia and Nybyen can return home as of 3 p.m. Friday.

THE APPROACHING STORM: New forecast calls for more intense winds and more snow in Longyearbyen to 90 km/h; Svalbardbutikken open until at least noon

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Update (11:20 a.m. Thursday): The Norwegian Meteorological Institute has slightly revised and downgraded the peak severity of the storm, with strong gale force winds of 85-90 kilometers per hour now forecast between 3-6 p.m. and slowly diminishing until 10 p.m. Svalbardbutikken will close at noon. Mix kiosk will also close about that time. Svalbard Auto is open as of noon. Assemblin is offering plumbing services at 900 42 509. Governor issues heightened safety alert warning of blowing objects in town and advising everyone to stay inside.

Original story: A major storm expected to bring hurricane-force winds of more than 160 kilometers an hour and extreme avalanche danger to Svalbard on Thursday grew in intensity overnight Wednesday, with the forecast now calling for stronger winds of up to 90 kilometers an hour in Longyearbyen and up to nearly eight millimeters (potentially 10cm or more) of precipitation.

EVACUATIONS ORDERED: More than 100 residences in Lia, Nybyen must be vacated by 8 a.m. Thursday; schools, library other public city facilities closed

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A total of 28 residences near the avalanche-prone mountain of Lia and 81 student dorms in Nybyen must be evacuated by 8 a.m. Thursday due to a storm expected to bring winds exceeding 80 kilometers an hour and extreme avalanche danger to Longyearbyen throughout the day, The Governor of Svalbard announced Wednesday evening. The evacuations are scheduled to last at least until Saturday morning.

WIND STORM/EVACUATION WATCH (UPDATES AS NECESSARY): Evacuation alert as hurricane winds of 160+ km/h, Level-Four avalanche risk forecast Thursday for Svalbard

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Update (4:50 p.m. Wednesday): Evacuations ordered by 8 a.m. Thursday for 29 residences in Lia near Sukkertoppen and 81 university student dorms in Nybyen.

Original story: A storm expected to bring hurricane-force winds of more than 160 kilometers an hour to some parts of Svalbard (strong gale winds of 80+ km/h in Longyearbyen) and extreme avalanche risk conditions Thursday is prompting The Governor of Svalbard to advise residents in at-risk areas to prepare to evacuate their residences.

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.

STORM ALERT: 20-40mm of precipitation, near-gale winds, warm temps, high avalanche risk forecast Saturday

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A storm is expected to dump up to 40 millimeters of precipitation – all or mostly rain – in Longyearbyen on Saturday, causing significant avalanche and flooding risks, according to an alert issued Friday by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute.

STORM UPDATE: Evacuation of Nybyen lifted, no major damage reported as worst passes

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An evacuation of Nybyen was lifted Thursday afternoon, and no major avalanches or damage were reported following a major snowstorm Wednesday night and Thursday morning, according to The Governor of Svalbard.