Rainfall sets new records in south

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Just as a major storm moved in over southern Norway comes word that July rainfall has made for one of the soggiest summers on record. It’s been three times as wet as it normally is along the southern coast known as

Sørlandet, which is supposed to be known as Norway’s Riviera.The month isn’t even over yet, and heavy rain continued to fall from Kristiansand in the south to the north of the Arctic Circle on Thursday. The heat wave of late June and early July seems largely forgotten. Since then, it’s been mostly pouring.

“We can be heading towards the wettest July in 150 years for the area around Kristiansand and Farsund,” weather statistician Bernt Lie told newspaper Aftenposten .

Lie collects precipitation figures from weather stations all over the country and knows exactly how many clear days Norway has had in a given period, how much rain has fallen or how strong the wind is blowing.

In the space of just 20 minutes on Wednesday, he could report that 22.8 millimeters of rain had fallen outside his summer house near Mandal. “We normally get 89 millimeters in the entire month,” Lie said.

“The rain has come very intensely this summer,” he added. “In the course of 12 hours on Saturday July 18th, it rained as much in Kristiansand as is normal for the entire month of July.”

It’s also rained much more than “normal” in inland areas like Lillehammer. While it seems like it’s been raining almost every day in Oslo, though, Lie said it hasn’t set any records. He reminded that Oslo and much of southern Norway basked in continually warm weather from June 22 until July 5. “Never have we had so many warm days over such a long period,” he said.On Thursday, though, forecasts of what could only resemble an early autumn storm proved accurate. An enormous dark cloud, which some witnesses said resembled an inverted pyramid, moved up over the Oslo Fjord. Storm warnings had been in effect for hours, and boats were advised to seek safe harbour because of high winds.

Color Line, which runs scheduled ferry service between Oslo and Kiel in Germany, sailed as usual at 2pm but passengers were bound for a rocky ride. It poured for hours Thursday afternoon, with temperatures dipping to around 15C.