The climate in Svalbard

Average daytime and nighttime temperatures

All climatic diagrams of this site are taken from the collected data from the official weather station of Svalbard at an altitude of 9m above sea level. All data correspond to the average monthly values of the last 20 years.

Back to overview: Svalbard

Climate zone: arctic polar zone

The climate in Svalbard is not really suitable for petted US Westcoasters or Central Europeans. It is mostly cold and in winter months the mercury column won't reach anything above freezing point. In the cold season even the maximum temperatures are well below zero. Due to the warmer temperatures the best time for traveling is from June to September. Nearly unattractive for tourists are the cold months from November to May.

Duration of daylight and sunshine in Svalbard

rainy days per monthRainy days per month in Svalbard
Precipitation in mm/dayPrecipitation in Svalbard
Relative humidity in %Relative humidity in Svalbard
Absolute humidity in g/m³ (approx.)Absolute humidity in Svalbard

Temperature records of the last 14 years

The hottest temperature measured from 2007 to June 2021 was reported by the Ny Alesund weather station. In August 2008 the record temperature of 20.5 °C was reported here. The hottest summer from July to September was recorded in 2020 with an average temperature of 5.6 °C. This average temperature will normally be measured every 4 to 6 hours, thus also including the nights. Normally, this value is 4.3 degrees Celsius. The average maximum daily temperature at that time was 6.1 °C.

The coldest day in these 14 years was reported by the weather station Ny Alesund. Here the temperature dropped to -30.2 °C in March 2020. Ny Alesund lies at an altitude of 8 meters above sea level. The coldest winter (January to March) was in 2020 with an average temperature of -14.9 °C. In Svalbard, it is usual to have about 5.7 degrees more at -9.2 °C for this three-month period.

The most precipitation fell in Januar 2012. With 7.1 mm per day, the Ny Alesund weather station recorded the highest monthly average of the last 14 years.

Long-term development of temperatures from 1922 - 2020

In contrast to single record values, a long-term development cannot simply be brought about by all weather stations in the country. Both the number and the locations are constantly changing. A simply calculated average value would give a falsified result. If several measuring stations in particularly cold mountain or coastal regions are added in one year, the average would already decrease as a result of this alone. If a station fails during the summer or winter months, it does not provide any values and falsifies the average again. The subsequent long-term development was therefore reduced to only 1 measuring points in order to have actually comparable data over as long a period as possible.

In the years 1922 to 2020 there were only these 1 weather stations in the whole country, which reported continuous temperature values (Jan Mayen). From these weather reports we have created a long-term development that shows the monthly average temperatures. The hottest month in this entire period was 1934 with 8.0 °C. 1943 was the coldest month with an average temperature of -14.5 °C.

The average annual temperature was about -0.1 °C in the years after 1922 and about 1.4 °C in the last years before 2020. So in less than 99 years it has increased by about 1.5 °C. This trend only applies to the selected 1 weather stations in Svalbard. A considerably more comprehensive evaluation of the global warming has been provided separately.

Long-term development of temperatures in Svalbard

More detailed information on global warming with a view by continent can also be found on our topic page on climate change. Data basis: German Weather Service, individual values averaged and supplemented by own elements.