Heat wave forecast through the week

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Norwegian state meteorologists say they’ve never seen anything like it: Another whole week looms with nothing but sunshine and official temperatures predicted to be as high as 31C for much of southeastern Norway. Oslo has already been ranking among the hottest capitals in Europe.

This screen grab from the Norwegian weather service yr.no shows what’s in store for the week ahead: Sun and unusually warm temperatures.

“When I look at this, I think that I should have taken off on holidays now, instead of later in the summer,” Rafael Escobar Løvdahl, a state meteorologist and well-known TV “weatherman,” told state broadcaster NRK. He was referring to the latest longer-term forecasts reported by weather service yr.no.

Temperatures over 30C (85F) have been reported all week around Østlandet, the southeastern portion of the country. Lier in Buskerud logged 31.9 and the coastal city of Tønsberg in Vestfold County registered 32.2. Temperatures in Oslo have matched those in Madrid, while many spots on the Norwegian weather map have been warmer than those in Southern Europe and the Canary Islands, where many Norwegian travel to be guaranteed some warm summer weather during the July holiday month.

This year they could have just stayed home. What’s most unusual this year is how the warm weather began in May, has lasted through June and now is extending into July.

“It’s not entirely abnormal to get waves of warm weather,” Løvdal told NRK, but such a lengthy heat wave hasn’t occurred since 1947, when there was a long spell of warm weather in both June and August that year. “I have never experienced such weather so early in the season as we’ve had now,” Løvdal said.

Tuesday was the warmest day so far, especially in the area from Drammen and farther west in Buskerud County. Nedre Eggedal recorded 33.8C (94F) and that can be downright uncomfortable in homes and offices without any air conditioning.

The weather is also due to get better in Northern Norway, where residents and tourists have shivered through weeks of single-digit temperatures, rain, strong winds and even snow. Tromsø set a new record for rainfall in June, Escobar said, but now the midnight sun will be showing itself more frequently and the countries of Nordland, Troms and Finnmark should warm up.

With no rain predicted at all in the Oslo area and beyond, water restrictions are due to continue and lawns are likely to remain remain brown. Farmers are facing the closest Norway has come in years to a drought, even after a year with record snowfall.

Escobar cautioned that forest fire danger also remained at the highest levels. “It will continue to be warm and dry,” he told NRK, “so everyone needs to follow the advice of local authorities.” That means another ban on outdoor grilling may be re-imposed, along with the ban on watering lawns and gardens.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund