State highway officials were warning on Friday that any motorists attempting to drive over the mountains of Southern Norway this weekend had better have plenty of warm clothing, food and drink in their vehicles. Snowstorms had closed nearly all main highways by Friday afternoon and there were long waits for convoy escorts on the few roads open.
“Nearly everything is closed and the weather is getting worse,” Eirik Rystad Skånøy, traffic operator for the highway division based in Bergen, told state broadcaster NRK Friday afternoon.
Police and highway officials were mostly hoping folks would drop any plans to drive between the western and eastern parts of Southern Norway. Winds were strong, blizzards cut visibility and only some large trucks were being allowed to cross mountain passes, if they had chains on their vehicles.
“We have strong westerly winds, also with hail, rain and snow at high elevations,” state meteorologist Gunnar Livik told NRK. Roads were slick and hazardous. Only the E6 over Dovrefjell and the E16 over Filefjell were open but could close at any time. The E134 over Haukelifjell reopened to convoy driving after being closed earlier in the day.
Another full storm was also raging along Norway’s West Coast, with Stad and the West Cape once again hit hardest. Warnings were up for all roads at elevations of 600 meters or more.
“If you don’t absolutely have to cross the mountains, you should stay home,” Livik said.