Norwegians have been shivering through what’s shaping up to be their coldest July summer holiday season in three decades or even more. It’s also been raining a lot, and even snowing in the mountains, while the Arctic islands of Svalbard may set a warmth record this weekend.
“In Oslo we have to go back to 1993 to find such low average temperatures as we’ve had this summer, and back to 1996 in Bergen,” state meteorologist Gunnar Livik told news bureau NTB this week. “In Trondheim we have to go all the way back to 1962.”
Summer started off much warmer in June, unfortunately before the annual summer holidays began in July. It was also an unusually warm spring, with the outdoor grilling season beginning in many areas as early as Easter.
“The trend (in July) confirms, however, what many have experienced themselves,” Livik continued, “that we had a clear change in the weather at the end of June, and that July has been a cold month with lots of unstable weather.”
Wind and rain
It’s also been windy and often raining in Southern Norway in recent weeks, with only brief periods of blue skies and sunshine and relatively nippy temperatures. State meteorologists have recorded average temperatures in Oslo this month of just 14.7C (58F), the lowest in 27 years. Bergen’s average has been even lower, at 12.8C, with Trondheim checking in at just 12.1C. That left Trondheim with its coldest summer in nearly 60 years, while thermometers fell to minus-4C in the mountains at Folldal, just south of Dovre.
In Northern Norway there’s also been lots of summer days with temperatures recorded in the single digits, along with rain, snow and lots of snow left over from the winter. There have been wide variations, though, with temperatures ranging from 13C in Hammerfest to as high as 27C (83F) in southeastern Finnmark, also accompanied by pouring rain and thunder.
A new dose of cold air was moving in over much of the country this weekend, with more rain and low temperatures forecast from Sunday into early next week in the Oslo area. Warmer temperatures were expected in the north.
Warmer in Svalbard
Svalbard in the Arctic, meanwhile, may break a new warmth record this weekend. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that it was still only around 9C in Longyearbyen on Friday morning, but a low-pressure system was moving warm air north.
“I almost don’t dare report this, but we’re expecting up to 16C in Longyearbyen,” state meteorologist Charalampos Sarchosidis told NRK, “and it could be warmer than 20C during the weekend.” That hasn’t happened since 1979.
“Normal” summer temperatures on Svalbard are around 6C, but climate change keeps changing things, and now it may be warmer in the Arctic than in Oslo, where thermometers are expected to fall below 15C on Sunday with more rain pouring down.