State meteorologists are blaming climate change for a freak rainstorm in Oslo late Saturday night. It came suddenly and forcefully, but only cut through the center of town, leaving areas on the eastern and western sides of the capital dry.
Meteorologists got no warning of the fierce rainstorm that flooded many downtown streets until less than an hour before it hit. The rain, lightning and thunder came from the north and drenched an area from Sognsvann due south to Nordstrand before moving on to the southeast and Sweden.
“It didn’t touch Groruddalen (in the east) or Bygdøy (in the west), which only got a few drops of rain,” state meteorologist Kristian Gislefoss told state broadcaster NRK. It literally the city in two, raining so hard in the Sofienberg and Grünerløkka areas that it swamped cars and halted trams. Around 42 millimeters of rain fell in less than an hour, accompanied by 851 lightning bolts in the early morning hours of Sunday.
“This type of sudden, torrential rain is new for us, but it’s something we’ll see more of in the future as a result of climate change,” Gislefoss said. It was similar to the sudden, heavy rain that hit Jolster late last week, setting off several landslides that are believed to have killed one local resident whose car was swept into the lake Jøstadalsvatnet.