Snowstorm moving in from Iceland

State meteorologists were warning on Wednesday that a powerful low-pressure system was moving towards southern Norway and expected to bring plenty of snow over the weekend. The southern and western coasts were due to be hit the hardest.

This was the scene in Bergen last week, known for its rain but lately enjoying brilliantly sunny weather despite short days and cold temperatures. The scene was due to change over the weekend, when a snowstorm was expected over much of southern Norway. PHOTO: newsinenglish.no

Most of Norway has been subject to bitterly cold temperatures for the past several days, with thermometers down to as low as minus-20C even around the Oslo area. The skies have been clear and the weather dry, though, with little wind.

That’s about to change, with clouds moving in and some snow starting to fall by Friday, according to Norway’s meteorological institute. Rogaland and the Agder counties were told to brace for lots of snow and traffic disruption.

“It can be quite bad weather in the southernmost areas of the country already on Friday, but especially on Saturday,” Per Egil Haga of the Meteorologisk Institutt told weather website yr.no. He said the low-pressure system was southwest of Iceland on Tuesday evening and moving strait for southern Norway.

“On Saturday we’re expecting a storm, but it’s possible the storm will hit the coast of Agder and parts of Rogaland on Friday,” Haga said.

Winter storms are common along Norway’s west coast, Haga said, but more seldom along the southern coast, known as Sørlandet, and southeastern Norway, known as Østlandet.

“Right now it doesn’t look too dramatic, but we can get quite intense precipitation, in the form of snow, on Saturday combined with strong winds,” Haga said. “That can lead to difficult conditions both on the roads and on the railroad tracks.”

Temperatures are expected to rise, maybe even above the freezing point along the west coast, but will likely stay below freezing around Oslo and elsewhere east of the mountains, Haga said.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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