Intense piteraq blows itself out

04373 Ikermiit, Greenland 80M amsl
0400 UTC 25 December – 0900 UTC 27 December 2020

An intense piteraq in Ikermiit eastern Greenland which started in the early hours of Christmas day has just about blown itself out after 48 hours or so. It appears to have been quite localised but for much of the time the northwesterly winds were meaning between 60 and 80 knots, with gusts as high as 104 knots at times. Severe conditions such as this remind us that the weather can be a killer with windchill values as low as -25°C for much of this time (see observation table below), if you had been caught out in this conditions as well as being blown completely off your feet what was left of you would have been frozen solid within minutes. Piteraqs are not an uncommon in Greenland and I wrote about one that occurred in January this year. Thanks to one of my readers for pointing this out to me. For your information this is what the brief entry in Wikipedia has to say about piteraqs:

piteraq is a cold katabatic wind which originates on the Greenlandic icecap and sweeps down the east coast. The word “piteraq” means “that which attacks you” in the local language.[1] Piteraqs are most common in the autumn and winter. Wind speeds typically reach 50 to 80 m/s (180–288 km/h; 111–178 mph). On February 6, 1970 the community of Tasiilaq was hit by the worst documented piteraq ever in Greenland (estimated at 90 m/s — about 325 km/h or 200 mph) causing severe damage.[2] Since the beginning of 1970 special piteraq warnings are issued by the Danish Meteorological Institute.

Courtesy Wikipedia
Courtesy of Google Maps

There seem to be at least two Ikermiits in Greenland, this piteraq occurred at the southern one.

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