It’s official: February’s warm weather sent thermometers soaring to record highs in five Norwegian counties, while the average temperature was 3.5 degrees over what’s normal on a nationwide basis.
Norway’s state meteorologic institute has released new statistics that heat up the warnings about climate change. February was among the warmest months on a seasonal basis since 1900. The five counties that logged record high temperatures are Sogn og Fjordane, Hordaland and Rogaland on the West Coast, Aust-Agder on the Southern Coast and the large inland county of Oppland, which usually has cold winters that attract skiers by the thousands.
News bureau NTB reported that it was relatively warmest in the mountains of Southern Norway and the regions south and east of the mountains, with official temperatures 5-6 degrees over normal. They hit 18.7C in Grimstad in Aust-Agder on February 26, breaking an earlier record high of 16.9C.
Rogaland also set a warmth record in February, when the temperature hit 14.2C at Våland in Stavanger, while it ws nearly 16C at Etne in Hordaland. Oppland’s record highs were set at the Bjorli ski center (13.3C) while Biri on the shores of Lake Mjøsa hit 12.6C. Temperatures in the Mjøsa area usually are well under the freezing point in February.
Climate researcher Bjørn Samset repeated concerns about the trend, noting that it’s not alarming to have occasional “extreme” temperatures, but it’s troublesome when records are broken so frequently.