Greenland witnessed its highest June temperature ever recorded on Thursday – ‘We had to check that our models were still working properly’
By Jason Samenow and Angela Fritz
10 June 2016
(Washington Post) – Nuuk, Greenland’s capital, soared to 75 degrees (24 Celsius) Thursday, marking the warmest temperature ever recorded in the Arctic country during June. Nuuk sits on Greenland’s southwest coast, where the country’s warmest weather typically occurs.
It was warmer in Nuuk than it was in New York City, where the high was only 71 degrees.
The Danish Meteorological Institute has confirmed on a preliminary basis that the Nuuk measurement would replace the previous record of 73.8 degrees (23.2 Celsius), which was set in Kangerlussuaq on June 15 in 2014. That temperature was also recorded in southwest Greenland about 200 miles (320 km) north of Nuuk.
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.
On April 11, Kangerlussuaq hit a record high of 64.4 degrees (17.8 Celsius). “This was the warmest April temperature on record at that location, and it nearly set an all-time warm temperature record for Greenland as a whole,” reported Mashable’s Andrew Freedman.
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. [more]