Weather patterns of the coastal zone of Petuniabukta, central Spitsbergen in the period 2008–2010

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Abstract

This paper presents the first results of measurements of global solar radiation, albedo, ground surface and 2-m air temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed and di- rection carried out in the central part of Spitsbergen Island in the period 2008-2010. The study site was located on the coastal ice-free zone of Petuniabukta (north-western branch of Billefjorden), which was strongly affected by local topography, character of the ground sur- face, and sea ice extent. Temporal analysis of the selected meteorological parameters shows both strong seasonal and inter-diurnal variation affected by synoptic-scale weather systems, channelling and drainage effects of the fjords and surrounding glaciers. The prevailing pat- tern of atmospheric circulation primarily determined the variation in global solar radiation, wind speed, ground surface and 2-m air temperatures. Furthermore, it was found that ther- mal differences between Petuniabukta and the nearest meteorological station (Svalbard Lufthavn) differ significantly due to differences in sea ice concentrations and ice types in the fjords during the winter and spring months.

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