It was as if Norway’s state meteorologic institute was rubbing salt into the wounds of Norwegians who’ve been shivering and getting soaked through their coldest summer in years: Wednesday, according to the meteorologists, was due to be one of the wettest days of the year as well.
“It’s going to be very wet,” Vibeke Tynnes, the lead meteorologist on duty Tuesday, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “Not everyone will get 30 millimeters in their gardens, but I’m certain that many will.” She said it wasn’t easy to say for sure where the cloudbursts would occur, “but the signals are clear enough that we decided to issue this warning now.”
The bad weather, coming in the midst of yet another cold and rainy week in much of the country, would set in during the night and continue through most of Wednesday, Tynnes said. The storm warning was made for the Agder counties in southern Norway (Sørlandet), along with the counties of Telemark, Buskerud, Vestfold, Oslo, Akershus and Østfold.
The heavy rains were blamed on a low pressure system over Skagerrak, “and on the northern side of it, we’ll get quite strong downpours,” Tynnes told NRK. The rain would be accompanied by lightning and thunder, she added.
As much as 40 millimeters of rain may pour down over the 24-hour period beginning from midnight Tuesday, with most of it coming all at once. Meteorologists were forecasting wide variations even in the same local areas.
Along with the storm warnings came additional warnings for flash floods and mudslides. “If an area gets 15 millimeters of rain, followed by another 15 millimeters a half-hour later in the same place, that amounts to a lot of water in one area,” Tynnes said. “There aren’t sewers anywhere in the world that can handle so much rain in such a short period of time, so we fear we’ll see flooding on Wednesday.”
Motorists were also being urged to be prepared for lots of water on the roads on Wednesday. Rain was also predicted through the rest of the week and into the weekend, as Norway’s summer holiday period began to wind down.