Norway sweltered in the record heat

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A record warm weekend ended, in Oslo at least, with  some heavy local showers Sunday night. They didn’t cool things off much, though, as Norway Cup players tried to sleep in sweltering gymnasiums where thermometers have hit 45C (110F).

Heavy dark clouds built up Sunday evening and unleashed heavy rain after another hot day in Oslo. Record high temperatures were registered around the country as well. PHOTO: newsinenglish.no

The large Norway Cup international football tournament attracts thousands of young football players to Oslo every summer, and they traditionally camp out in schools around the city. Players for the Vard Haugesund team had to be moved from the gym at Haugerud School in Oslo, where 190 players were supposed to sleep in the large room that had faulty ventilation.

Newspaper VG reported that around 60 Vard players were then offered a classroom at another school. “Thermometers wavered between 40- and 45C and it was impossible to sleep,” Arnt Fredhiem of Vard told VG. Daytime temperatures outdoors have hit over 30C in Oslo, where air conditioning is not widespread.

Thermometers soaring all over
As Norway Cup players were also ordered to drink lots of water to avoid dehydration, Norwegians all over the country were doing the same, and as little as possible in the heatwave that’s spread over most of Europe. An unusual weather front sent temperatures in Norway soaring from north to south for the fifth day in a row.

Norway’s Arctic areas were by no means immune from the heat, which left folks sweating from Finnmark in the north to Fredrikstad in the south. Meteorologists at weather service Vær og Vind also recorded the warmest night ever (called a tropenatt, when temperatures don’t fall below 20C).

It was registered at Kvaløyfjellet at an elevation of 302 meters (nearly 1,000 feet) on the coastal mountainous island in Sømna, just south of Brønnøysund. NTB reported that thermometers there didn’t fall below 26.1C between 8pm Saturday and 8am Sunday. That broke the record of 25.5C set 86 years ago in Halden, in the southernmost part of Norway just over the Swedish border.

Swimming turned deadly
It hasn’t been so hot in Sømna itself for at least 150 years, when records started being kept, and folks were swelting in places like Nord-Trøndelag and the Arctic city of Bodø as well, which are usually cool and even rainy in the summer.

VG reported abnormally warm nights at 19 weather stations around the country, and Sunday was even warmer with daytime highs hitting close to 35C. Folks flocked to the fjords and lakes to dive in and cool off, but it wasn’t all carefree fun. NTB reported three drowning deaths, in the Drammen River and at lakes at Hurdal and Hemnes in Akershus County.

The warmth was welcomed at first, after a chilly start to the summer holidays in Norway, but now it’s taking a toll especially on the elderly. Several residents of nursing homes were moved into shady areas outdoors to escape high indoor temperatures in facilities without air conditioning.

Summer ski center operators are also unhappy, as the glaciers summer guests ski on continue to shrink. Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported that revenues at the center at Stryn were cut in half last year, when the season lasted just 15 days and left the center with a net loss for the third year in a row.

Forecasts called for some relief on Tuesday, when rain was predicted along with temperatures down to 14C in the Oslo area.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund