Police were urging motorists to leave their cars at home on Thursday, after the Oslo area was hit by more sleet and snow that built up at higher elevations and left roads extremely slippery. The unseasonably cold and wet weather, which also put a damper on royal birthday celebrations this week, was expected to improve.
As many as 20 centimeters of snow fell in some areas of Oslo and Akershus after surprise dumps on Tuesday and Wednesday as well. Even the trees at Ekeberg above downtown Oslo were white Thursday morning, while some areas in Oslo’s local hills and forests have more snow now than they did during the winter. Snow has been falling at Holmenkollen since Tuesday but was letting up by midday on Thursday.
Driving was hazardous in Hurdal, over Gjelleråsen, Skedsmo, Lier and, according to police, “on all roads in Romerike,” northeast of Oslo. Main highways were both salted and cleared with the minimal crews on still on duty at this time of year, but secondary roads were risky.
Some motorists simply parked their cars during the night on the E6 at Olavsgaard, between Oslo and the main airport at Gardermoen, “because they didn’t think it was safe to keep driving,” police operations leader Rune Ullsand told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). Even coastal areas were hit with snow, including Drøbak, which normally is reverting to summer modus in May.
See NRK’s photos here (external link, in Norwegian).
Hard-core skiers were jubilant: “We have 25 centimeters at Solli in Vestmarka, so we’re preparing ski trails,” Hege Blichfeldt Sheriff of Skiforeningeng told NRK. Crews from Oslo’s parks and recreation department were also out preparing trails: “We have never done this in May before,” said Knut Johansson of Oslo’s Bymiljøetaten, “but now there’s around a half-meter of snow around Frognerseteren. That’s more than we had all winter.”