Winter not over, more chills ahead

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State meteorologists were warning on Tuesday that winter isn’t ready to release its icy grip, despite sunny skies in southern Norway and a calendar that reads “April.” Avalanche danger also remains extremely high in mountain areas, especially in the north, and the south may get more snow this weekend.

At first glance, it looks like fine spring conditions outdoors, like here in Krokskogen northwest of Oslo. But it's still cold out there, and the chilly temperatures are due to continue. PHOTO: newsinenglish.no

At first glance, it looks like fine spring conditions outdoors, like here in Krokskogen northwest of Oslo. But it’s still cold out there, and the chilly temperatures are due to continue. PHOTO: newsinenglish.no

The weather was looking deceptively spring-like out the window in many areas of southern Norway, with more blue skies and sunshine. Reality sets in, however, with the first step outside: It will be awhile before folks can store away the gloves, hats and winter coats.

“There are no signs of spring or warm air in our prognoses,” state meteorologist Per Egil Haga told weather website yr.no on Tuesday, when unveiling a long-term forecast through April 10. “The cold weather we’ve been having will continue in the whole country, so folks just need to be patient.”

Thermometers will creep up over the freezing point in sunny areas out of the wind, but a higher sun in the sky “will be the only source of warmth we’ll get,” Haga said. “There won’t be any warm air currents moving in.”

He said the high-pressure system that settled over southern Norway two week ago and led to some of the most glorious Easter-holiday weather and skiing in years will continue at least through Thursday. Then a new low-pressure system is due to move in, with a chance of fresh snow.

“It looks like we’ll get some snow and sleet around Østlandet (southeastern Norway) on Friday and Saturday, but Sunday looks clear again,” Haga told newspaper Dagsavisen. He said March was much colder than normal, with weather stations in Kongsberg, at Gardermoen and at Blindern in Oslo all showing average temperatures that were nearly two to 3.4 degrees lower than what’s statistically common. The cold weather is also in sharp contrast to last year at this time, when Grimstad on Norway’s south coast reported 23.1C (around 72F).

Asked when double-digit temperatures might return, Haga said “we don’t see anything near them in our forecasts.”

More snow was also predicted in central and northern Norway, where the Easter holidays were plagued by bad weather, more avalanches and accidents, some of them fatal. More than 20 roads remained closed in Troms County on Tuesday, mostly around Tromsø and Senja, either because of avalanches or fear of new avalanches. Several communities remained isolated and travel was severely disrupted.

More snow and sleet was forecast for the mountains of Dovre and around the West Cape (Stad), with more snow also due to fall in Tromsø and elsewhere in Troms, Finnmark and Nordland counties. Meteorologists said the snowfall in Tromsø last week was unusually heavy, leading to “extreme” conditions that have kept avalanche warnings at their highest level.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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