Sun finally breaks through the gloom

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Some blue skies and sunshine were finally breaking through a dubious new record reported by state meteorologists during the weekend: Oslo and much of its surrounding area have only had 17 hours of sunshine so far this year.

The heavy grey clouds that have shrouded most of southern Norway so far this year finally gave way to a glimmer of sunshine on Saturday. Sunday was grey again over most of the Norwegian capital, but by late morning on Monday, the sun was coming out and forecasters said it may finally start to shine more often.

“It won’t be cloudless skies, but there’s hope for some sun every day this week,” Ingrid Bentsen of the state meteorological institute told newspaper Aftenposten.

Bentsen added that the sun has climbed much higher in the sky during the past few weeks, even though most folks haven’t been able to notice it, and there’s nearly five more hours of daylight now than there was at the winter solstice in December. Temperatures are warming up, too, although that’s bad news for skiers who have had a lousy season this year because of a rainy and mild winter.

“We haven’t had so much poor weather in a row, with overcast skies and rain, since 1988,” state meteorlogist Stein Kristiansen told Aftenposten. On Saturday he could announce that it had been 48 days with overcast weather, “and that’s definitely a record.” He said the sun was only out for a grand total of 17 hours over all of Østlandet, the term used to describe southeastern Norway.

Cloudless, blue skies in the early morning hours of Saturday prompted one man to strip down to his shorts and jump into the fjord off the Opera House, reported Aftenposten, despite chilly temperatures. The brilliant weather didn’t last long, though, and there also were storms over the weekend from the southwest coast to the far north, with high winds knocking out power in many areas. Strong winds in the mountains of southern Norway also closed roads and forced skiers to stay indoors, but the weather was due to improve.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund