Greenland witnessed its highest June temperature ever recorded on Thursday
It was warmer in Nuuk than it was in New York City, where the high was only 71 degrees.
John Cappelen, a senior climatologist at the DMI, told The Washington Post that the warm weather was brought on by winds from the east that set up between high pressure over northeast Greenland and low pressure south of Greenland. When winds come from the east over Nuuk, they blow downhill, which leads to an increase in temperature. This is the result of adiabatic warming, where air is compressed from low pressure (at the top of a mountain) to high pressure (at sea level). It’s the same kind of dry warmth that occurs as a result of Santa Ana winds in Southern California.
Thursday’s toasty reading in Nuuk marks the second exceptionally warm temperature recorded in southwest Greenland since April, when the ice melt season began about a month prematurely.
At the time, so much ice was melting that scientists at the DMI couldn’t believe what they were seeing. “We had to check that our models were still working properly,” said Peter Langen, a climate scientist.
“This is the sixth earliest onset of ice loss in our 27-year record, although there isn’t really a large difference from one year to the next in the top-ranking 17 years,” said climate scientist Peter Langen.
(Official weather records in Greenland only date to 1958, and historical records indicate that on June 23, 1915, the temperature may have reached 86 degrees (30.1 C) in Ivigtut.)