Snow and slippery roads in Southern Norway added to motorists’ frustration and traffic authorities’ concerns on Monday, when hundreds of thousands of Norwegians drove home after the long Easter holiday weekend. Driving conditions were especially difficult on the E18 highway through Sørlandet.
Traffic was also heavy both Sunday and Monday on main highways from the mountains back to Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger and Trondheim. That was expected, but the wintry weather on the E18 in Kristiansand, Arendal and Grimstad was not. Those are areas where many holidaymakers expect early summer instead of late winter, and head to their summer homes to open them up or work on their boats. Most motorists have also shifted from winter- to summer tires on their vehicles.
State broadcaster NRK reported that the best Easter weather this year was found in Nordland County, where sunshine and snow made for perfect spring skiing. The weather elsewhere was mostly grey and windy, with some rain as well, from Trøndelag south to Østlandet. There was also some fresh snow falling at lower elevations, for example in Nordmarka just north of Oslo.
This year’s late Easter holidays also led to a jump in airline traffic, with many Norwegians opting for trips abroad instead of risking poor skiing conditions at home. Officials at Avinor also reported a 7.7 percent increase i airline traffic last month, mostly because there was normal business travel in March since Easter was in April.