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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Fun (NOT!) Weather Facts about Greenland

Today, November 17, 2007 (a time of year that one could assume would be fairly cold in a place as far north as Greenland), in its capital city, Nuuk (also known as Godthab), the high was 50°F at 5:50 p.m., and it was RAINING!!! Raining in the winter in the polar regions in the evening after the sun had gone down. (Sorry, but after having lived near Lake Michigan for three years, I do not consider the month of November to be an autumn month in the high northern latitudes.) (BLOGGER'S NOTE OF NOVEMBER 29: this effect of warm, wet air going up to Greenland appears to be partly due to a normal, periodic change in the Arctic Oscillation, but I am not a meteorologist so I could be completely wrong about that assumption.)

So here is what Wikipedia says the average temperatures are for Nuuk:

"Nuuk has a moderate polar climate with a yearly average temperature of -1°C. 18°C is exceeded on average only once per year, with 24.2°C being the highest recorded temperature and -29.5°C being the lowest."

For the centigrade-impaired, I will translate:

"Nuuk has a moderate polar climate (NOTE THE ADJECTIVE: "polar") with a yearly average temperature of 30.2°F. 64.4°F is exceeded on average only once per year, with 75.6°F being the highest recorded temperature and -21.1°F being the lowest."

And the weather report for today:

Godthab, Greenland.
Latitude: 64.18 N.
Longitude: -51.75 W.
Average elevation: 1 m.
Station reporting: NUUK (GODTHAAB) at 2.22 km from Godthab. Elevation: 84 m.
Current Weather Report at 5:50 p.m., local time:
Relative Humidity: 82%
Wind: SSE at 67 km/h; 104 km/h gusts
Visibility: > 10000 m
Pressure: 999.0 mb
More Details:
Scattered clouds at 180 m Broken clouds at 580 m
Broken clouds at 760 m

(Current weather conditions: click here.)

And, here is a nice little table that shows the average monthly temperatures for Nuuk (from Wikipedia) -- the data-tables-challenged can just skip to the text below the table, and the numerically-impaired can skip to the second paragraph below the table, if they can find it:

Climatic Table (°C, mm)

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Nuuk -4.4 -4.5 -4.8 -0.8 3.5 7.7 10.6 9.9 6.3 1.7 -1.0 -3.3 1.74 Mean Daily High
-10.1 -10.6 -10.6 -6.1 -1.5 1.3 3.8 3.8 1.6 -2.5 -5.8 -8.7 -3.89 Mean Daily Low
39 47 50 46 55 62 82 89 88 70 74 54 756 Precipitation

Notice that the average high temp for November is -1.0°C (or, 30.2°F, just below freezing). But, today, in the dark evening, the temperature was 10°C (11 degrees C higher than the average) or 50°F (or about 20 degrees F above the average).

Now, what can one day tell us about weather, climate, climate change, or global warming? --- NEXT TO NOTHING!!!

But I sure as hell wish it would stop raining there and just go back to freezing.

Here is the Weather Channel's North Pole satellite map. This weather map changes daily.

North Pole Satellite

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