Norwegians enjoyed spectacular weather over the pinse holiday, the country’s last long weekend of the year. It capped off a spring which saw average temperatures 2.3 degrees above normal, making it Norway’s warmest spring on record.
Norwegians mark pinse, also known as Pentecost or Whitsund, with reduced trading hours on Saturday and a national holiday on Sunday and Monday. It’s the last long weekend Norwegians get until Christmas, and is a traditional time for weddings and christenings.
Oslo residents enjoyed a hot start to summer with temperatures of up to 25 degrees Celsius over the long weekend, continuing the trend of warmer temperatures throughout spring. “A warmer spring has never been registered since 1900,” climate researcher Stein Kristiansen told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK)’s weather service Yr last week.
He said the record-breaking average was due to an unseasonably warm March, where many places had temperatures between seven and eight degrees higher than normal. “That is extremely high!” Kristiansen explained. “The warmest areas were along the coast in the west and inner parts of eastern Norway.”
A stable high pressure system over Norway and lower than average snowfalls in many parts of the country throughout winter were partly to blame. “Normally the warmth in the month of March helps to melt the ice,” Kristiansen said. “But since there have been little snow, the sun has immediately warmed up the air and given abnormally high temperatures.”
Record-breaking averages for the period between March and May were recorded in several places throughout Norway, including Bergen with an average daily temperature of 8.8 degrees Celsius (2.2 degrees above average), and Lysebotn, Sola and Fister in Rogaland county with 8.7, 8.6 and 8.6 degrees respectively (2.6 degrees above average).
The spring average for Oslo was also its warmest ever, at eight degrees Celsius. Temperatures as high as 17 degrees were recorded in March, with the mercury tipping 26 degrees in Oslo towards the end of May.