Winter is coming: A sudden plunge in temperatures accompanied by strong winds and precipitation surprised both residents and motorists in Southern Norway during the night, just as areas of Agder and Telemark counties were bracing for more heavy rain. Flood warnings were up again, as were those for possible road closures.
Floodwaters receded in the southern coastal area known Sørlandet on Monday, after the latest downpours over the weekend, but more rain was on the way this week. State waterways directorate NVE warned of both flood- and landslide danger in Aust-Agder, Telemark and Vestfold counties from Tuesday.
Up to 70 millimeters of rain were in the forecast. After the weekend downpour that closed a major stretch of the main E18 highway from Kragerø to Arendal, the ground is soaked while lakes and creeks are flowing over their banks. NVE warned that areas near waterways and steep hillsides are especially vulnerable.
Snow was falling, meanwhile, in the mountains and also in lower inland areas. Road warnings were up in Telemark, Agder, Rogaland and Vestfold counties. The main east-west highway, E134, was covered with snow between Seljord and Notodden, usually around a 90-minute drive west of Oslo. Traffic was moving much slower on Tuesday morning.
Strong winds and poor visibility also made driving hazardous in the mountains, forcing the closure of County Highway 55 over Sognefjellet Tuesday morning. Highway 52 over Hemsedalsfjellet was also closed near Borlaug after three large trucks got stuck on the slippery roads.
Officials at the state highway department Statens vegvesen called for caution while driving on State Highway 7 over Hardangervidda, County Highway 50 between Aurland and Hol, the E134 over Haukelifjell, E16 over Filegjell and County Highway 53 between Tyin and Årdal.