If the weather never changed,
most people wouldn't have anything
to talk about.
The Hornsund meteorological observatory is part of the Norwegian station network and is registered in the WMO (World Meteorological Organisation) as number 01003.
Systematic, 24-hr measurements and observations of basic meteorological parameters are carried out here, following WMO standards. Encoded summaries of weather information from the hours 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21 UTC (Universal Coordinated Time) are transferred by radio via the meteorological station on Bjøornøya (Bear Island) to the world exchange data network.
What and how we measure
Since January 2001, measurements are made by an automatic measurement station, maintained and operated by a team of two technicians working around the clock. The following parameters are measured and recorded: atmospheric pressure, wind direction and speed (at height of 10 m), air temperature and humidity, ground temperature (at depth 5, 10, 20, and 50 cm), sun duration and sun radiation. Additionally, mean and extreme values are calculated. Software written at the station is used to create encoded summaries ("SYNOP"). The SYNOP reports also include meteorological parameters obtained using traditional methods-- precipitation, visibility, cloud cover, phenomena, and snow cover are measured manually.
Why it is important
The station in Hornsund is an important measurement point for weather service because Svalbard lies in the region of the arctic front, an area generating low-pressure systems and intensive cyclone activity. There are few other meteorological stations in the arctic region, and the Hornsund station is the only station in south Spitsbergen.
The station also provides meteorological measurements on-demand for Norwegian air transport services as support for flights done in the Svalbard region.
Meteorological data are used to understand the climate in the vicinity of the station, and the data also serve scientists whose research requires supplementary information on the meteorological conditions influencing their studies.