The weather this week has been nothing like the “mild May” conditions Norwegians like to sing about. Road authorities were warning motorists on Tuesday against driving over the mountains without winter tires, and to brace for floods later this spring.
There’s rarely been so much snow in Northern Norway, and the mountains are still full of it in the south. The E6 highway was closed at several spots in Troms og Finnmark on Tuesday, while Highway 7 over Hardangervidda was open only for convoy driving. As more snow suddenly fell last week and on Monday, especially in Molde and elsewhere in Romsdal, the annual snowmelt is expected to be dramatic.
Flood warnings are highest in Northern Norway, and they could cause damage, according to officials at the country’s waterways and energy directorate NVE. In Trøndelag, several rivers are expected to run over their banks, also in Gudbrandsdalen in the area just north of Mjøsa.
Flooding is also predicted along the rivers Glomma, Trysilelva and Drammenselv. “Most probably we’ll see considerable amounts of water rushing down through all the major rivers from the middle of May in Southern Norway and from late May in Northern Norway,” Inger Karin Engen of NVE told news bureau NTB. Floodwaters would then top out a week or two later.