Residents of southern Norway experienced a highly unusual night of massive lightning strikes and rolling thunder that knocked out power, set off some fires and shut down the main train line between Oslo and Kristiansand. Heavy and constant rain also caused flooding.
John Smits of of the state meteorological institute told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that the unusual storm that began Thursday afternoon and ran into Friday morning was another sign of global warming. “It is not usual to have such thunderstorm activity in October,” Smits said, attributing the storm to unusually warm air colliding with chillier air at higher levels. “This is another climate signal,” Smits said. “Global warming gives us more lightning and thunder.”
Lightning struck more than 10,000 times from Hordaland County in the west, around the southern coast known as Sørlandet and up to Oslo and eastern Norway (Østlandet). Several thousand households were without power Friday morning, cellars were flooded and the train line known as Sørlandsbane was halted. Thousands more had no cable TV or Internet service on Friday.
After more heavy rain Friday morning, the Meterological Institute said the worst was over for southern Norway, as the storm system moved eastwards and weakened along the way.