Residents of Western Norway are accustomed to lots of rain and stormy weather, but even jaded natives have been amazed by the summer deluge that’s been hitting them this week. State meteorologist Elin Lundstad warned that the weather was “unfortunately likely to get worse, poor all of you.”
Heavy rain drenched coastal areas from Kristiansand up to Farsund and Lista during the weekend, and then Stavanger got hit hard. On Tuesday it rained so hard that emergency crews had to rush out to at least 20 homes that were badly damaged by rain and hail. On Wednesday morning the lightning and thunder also set two houses on fire, one on Karmøy and another at Sotra, where more than 700 homes were left without power.
“We’re having very hefty weather right now,” state meteorologist Lars Andreas Selberg told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) Wednesday morning. “The thunder and lightning is moving in from the North Sea and heading in a northeasterly direction. It will continue through the afternoon.”
Streets and cellars were already flooded in several parts of Rogaland County on Tuesday. The areas of Eiganes and Gosen in Stavanger were hard hit but so was Klepp, where 14.3 millimeters of rain fell just between 1-2am Wednesday.
Dramatic weather also saturated much of Norway’s southern coast up to Tønsberg, which got 33 millimeters of rain in just one hour during the night. At midday on Wednesday, the Oslo metropolitan area was also rattled by thunder and lightning and local newspaper Budstikka reported that a man was rushed to hospital after being struck by lightning at the Vollen Marina in Asker.
Lundstad predicted the heavy rain, with lightning and thunder, would continue through the week, especially on Thursday. “It’s just going to get worse, unfortunately,” Lundstad said, pointing to a heavy low-pressure system moving over all the entire country.
“The forecast doesn’t look good for Saturday either,” Lundstad told NRK. She said “all of Norway” was due for heavy rain on Thursday.
It’s been a disappointing summer weather-wise on the West Coast. Figures compiled by the state Meteorological Institute show that July only eight had official “summer days,” defined as when the temperature climbs above 20C (nearly 70F). The average temperature in Stavanger and Haugesund in July was 14.2C (58F) and just 13.8C at Obrestad, for example. June and July were also full of rain in Bergen.