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Here a German researcher is fixing an instrument called a pyranometer (in the tube). He is trying to collect weather data while on an Arctic ice floe. A pyranometer measures solar radiation.
Figure from the NSIDC Arctic Climatology and Meteorology Primer

Arctic Weather

The Arctic or the Earth's Northern Polar Region has pretty extreme weather!

Ok, so you know the Arctic is cold, right? But did you know that minimum temperatures of -90°Fahrenheit (-68° Celsius) can be reached in Greenland and northern Siberia during winter months?!? That's pretty cold! Now it's not that cold all the time all over the Arctic. The average Arctic winter temperature is -30° F (-34°C), while the average Arctic summer temperature is 37-54° F (3-12° C).

In general, Arctic winters are long and cold while summers are short and cool. And some places in the Arctic are actually warmer then you might expect because they are near the coast and are warmed by the warm ocean water.

The clouds found most in the Arctic are low stratus and stratocumulus clouds. Springtime is the cloudiest while Winter is the least cloudy.

Arctic places don't get much precipitation. What they do get is usually snow during Fall and in Spring. They usually get less than 10 inches of precipitation a year. This means they can be officially classified as a dessert!

The Arctic can also be windy! With little in the way to slow them, winds can sweep over huge areas of land dropping loads of snow when an obstacle is hit. The summer months in the Arctic are the windiest.

It is not very humid in the Arctic. The cold air just can't hold much moisture!

Last modified June 28, 2007 by Jennifer Bergman.

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The Winter 2009 issue of The Earth Scientist, focuses on Earth System science, including articles on student inquiry, differentiated instruction, geomorphic concepts, the rock cycle, and much more!

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