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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Snow finally arrived, along with storms

It finally started snowing over much of Southern Norway on Sunday, and that made headlines in addition to setting off accidents and travel delays. It wasn’t due to last long, though, and state meteorologists warned that warmer temperatures and even more storms were moving in.

The snow arrived too late for a traditional White Christmas, which instead was green in Oslo and over large areas of the country, but it did provide a bit more holiday atmosphere and brighten up the landscapes. At the same time, a bit too much snow came all at once.

Bergen digging out
In Bergen, which already could log a dubious record for precipitation over the past year, snow-clearing crews couldn’t keep runways open at the West Coast city’s main airport at Flesland. It closed for several hours during the middle of the day, because of snow drifts and slick runways. That in turn affected traffic at other airports, especially in Oslo, on a busy post-Christmas travel day.

The storms that state meteorologists had warned about also moved over the West Coast as expected, but no serious injuries or major damage was reported this time. Many mountain highways were forced to close, though, and police reported lots of traffic accidents on slippery roads.

News bureau NTB reported that three cars were involved in one accident on State Highway RV7 naer Veme, and emergency crews were especially busy in the Nordre Buskerud Police District. Several other cars ran off roads in the country, also in Romerike north of Oslo on Sunday afternoon. In one accident, skis on a ski rack also flew off a vehicle on the main E6 highway, and in another, a car carrying two adults and a child ran off the same highway at Biri south of Lillehammer. All were sent to a local hospital for medical checks.

More storms due
Storms in Northern Norway forced closure of as many as 30 roads during the weekend, and many people were stranded in Alta, unable to head home to Hammerfest or other destinations in Finnmark and Nord-Troms.

Meterologists warned that more storms were expected, as soon as Monday night in the Stavanger area. Winds calmed during the day in most of Southern Norway but were due to start blowing hard again, with temperatures rising above the freezing mark. That means the capital was expected to lose most of its snow by New Year’s Eve.

“It looks like thermometers will stay below zero (C) unitl Wednesday morning here at Blindern,” state meterologist Kristian Gislefoss told newspaper Aftenposten Monday morning. “But then we’ll have warmer temperatures again.” Skiers continued to flock to higher elevations, because the snow that did fall wasn’t enough to groom trails in the local hills. Some ski areas even in the mountains remained without much natural snow, though, including Trysil and Sjusjøen. Conditions were better at Skeikampen and resorts around Geilo. Berglund



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