Climate

The World Heritage Area of Ilulissat Icefjord is characterized by a low Arctic climate.

Temperatures

July is the warmest month. Here you find average temperatures of approx. eight degrees Celsius. The coldest months are February and March, where the average temperatures are around minus 19 degrees Celsius.

Wind and Precipitation

In Ilulissat the average annual precipitation is 266 millimeters. The wettest months are August and September. Days with no wind are frequent, especially during summer, but severe storms may occur all year round, when depressions pass through the area. The most severe storms occur during winter.

Foehn winds may occur in the area all year round. It is a warm and dry wind from the ice cap, which will cause the temperatures to rise 10-12 degrees within a couple of hours. During winter the Foehn can melt snow and ice. Then the cold returns, creating a hard crust of ice on the snow.

Klimanormal for Ilulissat (figur: DMI)

Standard cumulative climate averages at Ilulissat based on data gathered from 1961 to 1990 (Figure: DMI).

Changes in the Climate

In recent years climate changes have generally resulted in milder winters as well as in increased precipitation and wind all year round. This means that these days the Disko Bay is only rarely completely covered with sea ice, which was not the case in the past.

The further north of the polar circle you go, the longer the polar night and the phase of the midnight sun last. At Qaanaaq in the northernmost part of Greenland you will find that the polar night and the midnight sun last for almost four months. In Nuuk, south of the polar circle, you do not see the polar night nor the midnight sun.

Check the weather forecast for Ilulissat here.

Read more about the climate and climate changes at Ilulissat Icefjord on GEUS' website.