stormalert021415

Alert: Major storm bringing heavy snow and hurricane-force winds Sunday, heavy rain Monday

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A storm expected to arrive in Longyearbyen early Sunday morning will bring heavy snow and winds of up to 75 km/h through Monday morning, after which a day-long warming spell is expected to result in heavy rain followed by more snow on Tuesday.

Conditions in some other parts of Svalbard, especially the southwest coast, are forecast to be considerably worse, with winds exceeding 115 km/h. The Hinlopenstretet passage between Spitsbergen and Nordaust-landet is also expected to be unsafe.

“So far the forecasts about this development have been consistent,” The Governor of Svalbard stated in an advisory issued Friday. “The governor urges everyone who planned on taking tours to take account of this notification.”

The storm is the result of a strong low-pressure system passing northeast of  Framstredet, according to the Norwegian Meteorological Institute in Tromsø. The highest winds and largest amounts of precipitation are expected during a 12-hour period beginning at about noon Sunday.

Temperatures in Longyearbyen are forecast to be below minus 20 degrees Celsius when the storm hits, but gradually rise to above freezing by Monday morning.

The high winds and snow will mean poor visibility and deep snowdrifts, while the subsequent rain is likely to result in flooding, possible washouts, avalanche danger and exceedingly slippery surfaces. Cancellation of at least some passenger and mail flights Sunday and Monday is likely.

About Post Author

Mark Sabbatini

I'm a professional transient living on a tiny Norwegian island next door to the North Pole, where once a week (or thereabouts) I pollute our extreme and pristine environment with paper fishwrappers decorated with seemingly random letters that would cause a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters to die of humiliation. Such is the wisdom one acquires after more than 25 years in the world's second-least-respected occupation, much of it roaming the seven continents in search of jazz, unrecognizable street food and escorts I f****d with by insisting they give me the platonic tours of their cities promised in their ads. But it turns out this tiny group of islands known as Svalbard is my True Love and, generous contributions from you willing, I'll keep littering until they dig my body out when my climate-change-deformed apartment collapses or they exile my penniless ass because I'm not even worthy of washing your dirty dishes.
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