First snow finally falls down south

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Oslo-area residents were among those who woke up to winter on Wednesday, after snow started falling Tuesday evening and stuck around through much of the day. It wasn’t much, only a few centimeters of wet snow that turned to ice, but its sheer whiteness can brighten up otherwise deep and dark December days.

Oslo's Akershus Fortress and Castle got a dusting of snow during the night, but it may not last long. PHOTO: Views and News

Much more snow kept falling in the mountains on Wednesday, for example in Oppland County, where the community of Skjåk recorded 93 centimeters (around three feet). Only around six centimeters (less than six inches) fell in Oslo, less along the waterfront, but it brought a bit more holiday spirit to the capital, which has registered its warmest autumn in many years.

The snow was blamed for a predictable amount of car accidents and even a few minor derailments of commuter trains and tram lines. But school children were out playing in it, from Oslo to Ålesund, and some brave skiers careened down the slopes at Sogndal in the mountains and reported great powder conditions.

State meteorologist Kristen Gislefoss felt compelled to throw cold (or maybe warm) water on the snow celebrations, however. He predicted the snow in southern Norway wouldn’t last long even though more was forecast to fall in the Oslo area Thursday night.

“It will be cold, also on Thursday, over much of the country,” Gislefoss told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “But temperatures will rise late in the afternoon on Thursday and on Friday. The snow has poor odds for surviving in the coastal areas.”

It might linger in the hills around the capital called marka, where cross-country skiers had logged many a ski trip by this time last year. The snow will stick around in the mountains, good news for ski resorts that have seen profits melt in line with the warm late autumn.

And in northern Norway, temperatures were finally expected to stay below the freezing point,  with Gislefoss predicting that the counties of Finnmark, Troms and Nordland were “heading into a cold period.”

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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