Warnings up for storms, high tides

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Norwegian meteorlogists were once again warning of storms and possible flooding caused by a combination of the bad weather and unusually high tides. The seas may literally sweep over some coastal areas, with water levels as much as three-and-a-half meters higher than normal.

Northern Norway was told to brace for the worst of the high tides, from Andenes and northward on Friday. High astronomical tides and strong winds from the southwest were raising alarms, especially in Harstad and Tromsø.

Nearing record levels
Meteorologist Trond Robertsen of the weather service Vervarslinga for Nord-Norge told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) Thursday afternoon that the waters around the island of Tromsø could reach levels only 30 centimeters lower than the record set during the extreme weather system known as Berit in 2011. Interestingly, that storm system swept in exactly four years ago, also on November 26.

A combination of the winds and a major low-pressure system coincides with the full moon, pressing the seas towards the coast. No extreme weather warnings have been issued for the counties of Troms and Finnmark, but they have for high tides and flooding, all the way from Harstad to Grense-Jacobselv on the Russian border.

Warmer temperatures were also bringing more rain, up to elevations as high as 1,500 meters, when the calendar would otherwise call for snow. Full storm warnings were posted for the coasts of Møre og Romsdal, Trøndelag and Nordland counties both Thursday night and Friday. Temperatures may rise to as high as 10C in low-lying areas, very warm for this time of year.

Traffic warnings as well
The abrupt changes in the temperature have also caused major traffic problems, as rain can quickly turn to ice when it hits the ground. After commuter chaos in the Oslo area on Tuesday, Western Norway was getting its fill on Thursday, with driving extremely hazardous.

Driving was also due to be difficult over the mountains of southern Norway, where the weather was posing challenges for what’s supposed to be the opening weekend of the ski season at several moutain resorts.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund