October was colder than average

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Norway shivered through a colder-than-average October this year. The chilly month followed a warmer-than-average September, though, and climate researchers are looking into whether the changes are linked to global warming. 

October was ablaze with brilliant fall colours around much of Norway, like here Krokskogen in Buskerud County. It was colder than average, however, and now most of the leaves have fallen. PHOTO: newsinenglish.no

Temperatures were between 0.9 and 1.4 degrees colder than average last month, climate researcher Hans Olav Hygen of the state meteorological institute told newspaper Aftenposten. The colder areas were found in the south and southwest, with Dagbladet.no reporting record cold weather in Buskerud and Hordaland counties.

In Buskerud, thermometers showed temperatures all the way down to minus-22.5C on Tuesday at the Dagali airport. In Hordaland, western Norway, it was minus-22.4C at Finse, beating all previous records.

Norway’s northernmost counties of Troms and Finnmark, by contrast, were warmer, experiencing average or slightly above-average temperatures.

The cold October followed a warm September, when mean temperatures were 0.6 degrees above normal. According to Hygen’s initial assessments, average temperatures in Norway this year so far remain 0.5 degrees above average, with heavier than normal rainfall in the eastern part of southern Norway (Østlandet) and along its southern coast (Sørlandet), and, by contrast, a reduction in rainfall in western Norway, normally known for its wetter weather.

It was too early to determine whether these general shifts and the cold October could be related to climate change, although climate researchers are exploring the possibility that a cold period such as this one could be related to the drastic reduction in the amount of sea ice in the Arctic. Experts believe the reduction could bring about changes in weather streams, such as the jet stream and gulf stream, resulting in an increase in cooler air over Norway. Global warming can thereby also lead to periods of colder weather, although one month’s weather is not proof of this.

The Norwegian winter has definitely set in, however, with falling temperatures and snowfall across much of the country also predicted for the coming days. Relatively heavy snowfall earlier in the week disrupted traffic both in the air and on the ground, with many airports struggling to keep runways open.

Views and News from Norway/Elizabeth Lindsay

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