The sun was turning on Thursday, the summer solstice that would have been the longest and sunniest day of the year if it weren’t for all the clouds over much of the country. The weather has also been cool if not downright chilly, but now it’s supposed to warm up again.
“The trend now for Østafjells (the area east of the mountains in Southern Norway) is that we should get mostly good weather from the weekend on,” Magni Svanevik of the state meteorological institute told newspaper Aftenposten on Thursday. This weekend is when Norwegians traditionally celebrate the holiday known as Sankthans with bonfires on the evening of June 23. although dry conditions in many areas have prompted restrictions.
After weeks of unusually warm weather, most of Norway has been shivering under single-digit temperatures and even some snow in the mountains. It’s been especially cold and stormy in Northern Norway, and residents of Finnmark, Troms and Nordland won’t be seeing much improvement. “Temperatures will mostly be around 10C (50C) in the north, and 15 C along the West Coast,” Svanevik said. From Sogn og Fjordane and northwards he also predicted lots of rain.
The Oslo area was due to have the best weather during the midsummer weekend, with temperatures rising to as high as 22-23C (73F) Saturday and Sunday as warm air moves north from the European continent.
With school out and summer holidays just starting for most Norwegians, the term midsummer can be confusing. It stems from historic ways of keeping calendars, when the period from mid-March to mid-October was considered the “summer half-year.” The summer solstice comes right in the middle.