Norwegian media were sending out warnings from state meteorologists on Friday about yet another storm moving in from the north Atlantic and slamming right into Norway from north to south, just as thousands of Norwegian are heading to or from the mountains for winter holidays.
“Especially bad weather” was predicted through Saturday, with several mountain passes already closed or ready to close Friday evening. As schools in eastern and southern Norway were wrapping up their week of winter holiday, those in western Norway were just starting, but warned against heading for the mountains or out on skis.
“Our recommendation is to stay home, conditions are terrible,” meteorologist Lars Andreas Selberg told state broadcaster NRK Friday afternoon. “There’s no point in heading off on a ski trip either.” Winds were due to hit hurricane force at Stad, while snow was drifting dangerously at higher elevations.
Avalanche warnings were also up all over the country and on Svalbard, where two German tourists were killed in an avalanche not far from Barentsburg on Thursday. Meteorologists pointed to the hazards created by shifting temperatures, strong wind and lots of precipitation.
Northern Norway was also getting clobbered by another weather front that forced several evacuations in the newly renamed Nordkapp (North Cape) region on Friday. One family stuck in their SUV on the E69 highway reported that they were met by mounds of snow and hail the size of golf balls, while 40 people on board a bus had to be rescued after the bus also got stuck in the snow drifts.