Winter’s here to stay for a few more months, but meteorologists predict temperatures will rise higher than seasonal averages from February to April, especially in northern Norway. The double-digit cold that’s lingered since November may finally be over.
Thermometers already have risen dramatically over most of the country and not least in western Norway, where a sudden increase has set off flooding and snow- and rockslides this week. Several small communities in the mountains remained cut off on Tuesday, with roads closed.
The state Meteorological Institute reported this week that the rest of this winter will be milder than normal. Both southeastern Norway and Finnmark County in the far north, for example, can expect temperatures more than a full degree above normal, while the rest of the country can expect a half- to one degree higher than usual.
That means temperatures of around the freezing point in many areas. The prediction, however is for the entire months of February and March, so there can still be days when the weather will be cold. It’s the average over many weeks that will be higher. Meteorologists note the prediction is based on 40 various prognoses from the European forecasting center in Reading, England.
It’s official, by the way, that December temperatures were fully 4.7 degrees below normal. December 2010 was the fourth-coldest on record nationwide since 1900.
With winter set to drag on, and more snow and slush in the forecast, police are cracking down on motorists who lack either snow tires or chains. They are especially targeting truck drivers from abroad, many of whom roll off the ferries from Germany and Denmark and find themselves woefully unprepared for winter driving conditions in Norway.
Several accidents and blocked roads this winter have been caused by large semi-trailers that have jack-knifed or run off the highway, blocking traffic in both directions. Police have mounted traffic controls at ferry terminals in recent weeks, to ensure that trucks are “well-shod,” have chains and that drivers know how to mount them. If not, the truck drivers risk being hit with a driving prohibition.