octtemps

FRIGHTENINGLY CLOSE: Longyearbyen continues 106-month streak w/ above average temps, but only by 0.9C in Oct.

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The end of October sent plenty of chills through those in Longyearbyen, but it wasn’t quite enough to break a streak of above-average temperatures that’s now 106 months long. The difference of 0.9 degrees Celsius was, however, the closest to normal the town has been in more than two years and among the narrowest margins since the streak began.

The average temperature at Svalbard Airport during the past month was minus 4.6 degrees, compared to the historical average of minus 5.5 degrees (representing the years 1960-1990, which some say offers a skewed results since temperatures since have consistently been warmer), according to the Norwegian Meteorological Institute. Temperatures were a few degrees above average at the beginning of the month and below average during the latter half, accounting for the close margin.

The highest temperature was 5.3 degrees on Oct. 7 and the lowest minus 14.5 degrees on Oct. 22. Overall, it was the coldest October in four years.

The last time temperatures were this close to normal was May of 2017, which was 0.3 degrees above average. The only other margins as narrow during the streak extending back to November of 2010 are July of 2012 (0.7 degrees) and January of 2011 (0.1 degrees).

Precipitation during the past month was far below normal with 6.6 millimeters, compared to the average of 14 millimeters. The heaviest amount fell Oct. 9 with 21 millimeters.

The institute’s monthly summary comes a few days after an article by a mainland newspaper (which was republished by other media throughout Norway) reporting a study from earlier this year that Svalbard may be 10 degrees warmer by the year 2100 (20 degrees during winter in the northernmost part) and receive 65 percent more precipitation in a “high emissions” scenario. A “medium” scenario includes a seven-degree temperature rise and 45 percent rise in precipitation.

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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