Gale-force blizzard

A police SUV and a few homes are briefly visible during a relatively tame moment Feb. 15 as a blizzard with gale-force winds hits Longyearbyen.

0 0
Read Time:1 Minute, 6 Second

The forecast was scary, including hurricane-force winds in some areas. As it turns out, there wasn’t much to be seen.

A storm on Sunday draped Longyearbyen and much of Svalbard in a zero-visibility curtain of white as the wind and heavy snow brought much of the activity in the area to a standstill. Flights and outdoor excursions were canceled, and large snow drifts clogged roads and building entrances, but officials said there were no reports of injured or missing people.

“We could not have gotten the rescue helicopters in the air, but we have a very astute Red Cross patrol in Svalbard,” Trond Olsen, a police chief inspector for The Governor of Svalbard, told Nordlys. “Anyway we would probably have had to wait until the weather calmed before we could initiate any rescue.”

The high winds struck at midday and continued through much of the night, reaching hurricane speeds off the southwest and northeast coasts, and gale speeds in Longyearbyen. Temperatures rose rapidly from about minus 20 degrees Celsius at midday Sunday to above freezing by Monday, resulting in rain that turned much of the snow to slush.

While most Longyearbyen residents stayed indoors during the worst of the storm, Svalbardposten reported seeing a few people on “walking tours” and taking photos – and one on a bicycle.

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.
Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %

Average Rating

5 Star
0%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%