Skiers and other winter sports fans in southeastern Norway were being advised to get outside and enjoy the snow while they can. A warmer weather front was moving in from the west, with meteorologists predicting rain over the weekend in the south, and another storm farther north.
Norway’s holiday weather has been characterized by enormous contrasts during the past week, from heavy snowfall and strong wind to brilliant sunshine and absolute calm. The “winter wonderland” that cheered holiday makers in much of the country during what’s known as romjul in Norway (the period between Christmas and New Year) was, however, in danger of washing away in some areas.
Sub-freezing temperatures (minus-8C in Oslo on Thursday, for example) were expected to continue through Friday with skiing conditions excellent. By Friday evening, however, state meteorologists forecast clouding skies and rising thermometers, perhaps to as high as plus-5C (just over 40F) on Saturday.
The last weekend of the year may also get drenched in rain, said Espen Biseth Granan of the state Meteorological Institute. A new storm was also forecast for the coasts of Trøndelag, Sør-Helgeland and Møre og Romsdal. Snow was expected only over elevations of 1,000 meters or more.
“The reason for this sudden change in the weather is a low-pressure system that’s building up over the Norwegian Sea and around Iceland,” Granan told newspaper Dagsavisen. “It will allow for some southerly winds that will bring with them mild air.”
Temperatures were due to rise quickly on Friday and stay higher through the weekend before falling again on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Forecasts for the first week of 2013 were, however, uncertain because of the potential for rapidly changing conditions.
“Not all the snow will melt or wash away, though,” Granan said. “It has snowed so evenly and continually over several days, so there’s quite a lot of it now.”
On Wednesday the 26th, also an official holiday in Norway, it snowed so hard at one point during the morning that visibility was down to almost zero. The torrent of huge, white snowflakes lessened by early afternoon, but not before there were some accidents and challenges for snow-clearing crews to remove it all.
Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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