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Dangerous Temperatures at Icelandic Met Office

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Dangerous Temperatures at Icelandic Met Office

High temperature

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

The Icelandic Met Office rarely encounters excessively high temperatures, but yesterday it did–inside its own offices. The cause was a serious failure in the computer cooling system, RÚV reports. As a result, weather forecast couldn’t be published and phone lines were down, as was the office’s website. The failure affected the office’s Danish supercomputer, recently installed, as well as Danish weather forecasts. Fire fighters were called out to assist in cooling the system.

Shortly after 1 pm, meteorologists on call received notice that something was wrong. At 2:30 pm temperatures began rising rapidly, resulting in the decision to put the office’s computers into shut down phase. The office’s emergency plan was activated. In a precautionary effort, electricity to the office was limited. Fire fighters were called out around 3 pm. They reacted quickly by pumping cold air into the computer rooms in order to turn down the temperature.

The cooling system is back in operation and there are certain suspicions about what caused it to fail. Weather forecasts could again be made around 6 pm, although they couldn’t be published right away.

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