Cool Summer in Greenland

The cool summer this year brings memories from July 2017 in Ilulissat that was also cool and snowy. Foto: Lone Godske/NIRAS A/S


13-July 2018

While the weather in Denmark has been unusually warm, dry and sunny since the start of May, things have been very different in Greenland where the same period can mostly be described as cold and in many place quite wet.


Since the start of May the weather has been controlled by an almost locked atmospheric pattern that has given a series of high pressures over Northern Europe and the usually low pressures that come from the west have either taken a left turn up the Denmark Straits or have pressed further south to southern Europe.

This persistent situation with a series of low pressure systems moving through the Denmark straits has given quite a lot more than usual of rain and snow to the east coast. Danmarkshavn had, with 35.6mm, the wettest May since 1949 and June was the second-wettest on record since 1961 at Station Nord (32.2mm). When it comes to temperature, the east coast had a slightly warmer or close to average May but otherwise, the weather has generally been cooler in most places in both May and June. In particularly, Summit, in the centre of the Greenland ice sheet recorded a new cold record for May on the 9th May with minus 46.5 C.



The map shows places that are colder than average in blue and places that are warmer than average in red. See more here:, where you can also run an animation.


If we look a little further into the crystal ball, the tendency for high pressure over northern Europe and low pressure over southern and eastern Greenland will hold a bit longer. Some longer term forecasts are now suggesting though that finally at the end of July, this weather pattern may shift and gives a little hope for some summer weather in Greenland.

News item by DMI Meteorologist Trine Pedersen

Translation by Ruth Mottram