An Analysis of the Local Weather Around Longyearbyen and an Instrumental Comparison

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för geovetenskaper


Three different studies have been made; an analysis of the general weather situation at three weather stations in Svalbard, close to the main settlement Longyearbyen; an instrumental comparison between three weather stations operating at nearly the same place during a few days in October 2006; and a case study of a weather station at the mountain Breinosa compared to the station in the valley beneath.

The analysis of the general weather at the three stations, Adventdalen (data used from 2004-2006), Svalbard Airport (data used from 1994-2004) and Gruvefjellet (data used from 2002-2005) showed that it is clear that the local surroundings do contribute to a more locally produced weather. The mean wind speed in Adventdalen was shown to be 5.1 m/s and the wind direction was mostly from inland towards the coast. Channelling effects dominates the winds in the valley, resulting in high wind speeds. The channelled winds from Adventdalen often reach Svalbard Airport (average wind speed 4.8 m/s). At the Airport there is also a contribution of winds (mostly in summer) originating from the sea, e.g. sea breeze. In times when the weather at Svalbard Airport was more continental, Adventfjorden and Isfjorden were likely to be covered by ice. The higher location of Gruvefjellet most often contributes to low temperatures and an average wind speed of 3.9 m/s. However, the temperature at Adventdalen and the Airport are often colder than at Gruvefjellet due to the frequency of temperature inversions.

The instrumental comparison concerned three stations in Adventdalen. Data from the stationary weather station was compared with data from two temporarily stations during 4-7th October 2006. It is apparent that the stationary station needs calibration, at least when looking at the pressure measurements, where there clearly is an offset in the data.

The third study was a case study concerned data from a station at the mountain Breinosa and Adventdalen. A new weather station will be put up during 2007 and data (16th December 2005 until 12th January 2006) from a temporarily station was used when determining the differences from the station down in the valley (Adventdalen). The wind speed is often just as high in the valley as at Breinosa due to channelling effects. The temperature in Adventdalen seems to be affected by the temperature at Breinosa. The air is chilled and sinks down to be channelled through the valley. There are some occasions when the temperature at the mountain is higher than beneath. During those events the wind speed is low and a temperature inversion develops at the ground.

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