Storm warnings posted in the south

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Norway’s Meteorological Institute advised residents of Southern Norway from Rogaland in the west to Østfold in the east to stay indoors on Thursday, especially in the afternoon and evening. A severe storm, said to be bordering on extreme, was heading in from the North Sea.

The storm, forecast earlier this week, was predicted to bring with it strong winds, heavy rain, sleet and snow at higher elevations. Waves would be extremely high at sea and many ferries were expected to cancel service.

‘A real winter storm’
Driving was also expected to be hazardous even though emergency crews were standing by to try to keep roads open, also in the mountains. State railway NSB was bracing for trouble as well, not least on the line running between Oslo and Bergen over the mountains.

“This will be a real winter storm,” meteorologist Rafael Escobar Løvdahl told weather website yr.no. “It’s coming in just under the criteria for extreme weather, but we’re not cancelling our storm warnings. We’re following this closely.”

He advised caution. “If you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, it can be really bad,” Løvdahl said, warning that the winds can send objects flying and that roads will be slick. “In Agder and Rogaland (Norway’s most southern coastal counties), folks should absolutely not go out to experience the weather, because it can be dangerous.”

Nine-meter waves
Winds were expected to reach gale force around 2pm in Agder and Rogaland, with the strongest winds coming later in the evening. The storm was due to move in a westerly direction, hitting the Oslo area and Østfold County in the southeast Thursday night as well, although Wednesday’s clear, sunny skies had already disappeared Thursday morning. Winds were also picking up along the Oslo Fjord early Thursday as dark heavy clouds rolled in.

Travelers were advised to stay in touch with their airlines, NSB or ferry lines including Color Line, which runs service from Oslo to Kiel in Germany, given the storm warnings at sea as well. Seas up to nine meters high were expected in Skagerrak.

Temperatures were also due to drop from Thursday evening, so any snow falling at higher elevations would likely remain on the ground through the weekend.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund