Stormy weather set to stick around

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Last week’s heat wave suddenly seemed like a distant memory, as Oslo and much of the rest of southern Norway dealt with high winds, rain and temperatures around 18C (64F) on Thursday. The capital escaped the torrential rains and thunderstorms that meteorologists had predicted, but now they’re saying the stormy weather will likely hang on for awhile. For sunnier skies, head north.

It’s an ironic twist that’s likely disappointed thousands of holiday-makers, at least in the southern part of the country. This week marks the first full week of Norway’s semi-official fellesferie , a three-week period in July when factories and many businesses traditionally close and Norwegians head outdoors. June was gorgeous, even uncomfortably warm, in southern Norway, but now, when many locals are actually off work, the weather’s not very holiday-like at all.

“There’s nothing indicating that it’s going to get much better,” Jan Nes of Storm Weather Center told newspaper Aftenposten , referring to the forecast for the southern part of Norway over the next 10 days. He and other meteorologists thinksouthern Norway is set for around two weeks of unstable weather,including lots of showers and relatively cool temperatures.

“The little glimmer of hope we have is that there may be fewer showers and more glimpses of the sun this weekend than we’ve had in the past several days,” said Anders Sivle of the state Meteorological Institute at Blindern in Oslo.

Parts of Oslo were hit with sleet on Wednesday, and more heavy showers were expected. There were reports of floods in some mountain valleys and the Bergen-Oslo train line Bergensbanen was halted by a rain-induced rock slide during the night. It reopened mid-day Thursday.

North-South line of demarcation

Northern Norway, meanwhile, which had poor weather when it was so warm in Oslo, could look forward to much sunnier skies in the weeks ahead. Now it’s the northerners’ turn to enjoy a high pressure system that should clear away clouds and warm things up.

It’s no coincidence that when it’s good weather up north, it can be poor in the south, and vice versa, say the meteorologists. “It’s pure physics, and it has to do with the winds around the high- and low- pressure systems,” Nes told Aftenposten .

“When we have a large high-pressure system over southern Norway, it means that Northern Norway will get westerly winds, and that can blow cold and wet air that’s over the sea, in over the land,” he continued.

“When we have a low-pressure system over the south, it will mean easterly winds in the north. In the summer, that will bring dry and warm wind from inland areas.

“If we’re going to have fine weather in both the north and the south at the same time, we have to have a large high-pressure system centered in southern Nordland County, or another spot in the center of this long country.”