PHOTO FEATURE: Specators bundled up and headed for the waterfront in Oslo on Friday, to observe an unusual form of frozen mist called frostrøyk (literally “frost smoke”). The mist forms when temperatures plunge, and that’s what they’ve done all over the country.
After days of heavy snow that shut down portions of Southern Norway, the skies cleared and a cold snap (called sprengkulde in Norwegian) set in as predicted. The photos here were taken early Friday afternoon from one of the piers at Oslo’s inner harbour.
Temperatures were lowest, as usual, in the northern county of Finnmark, where thermometers fell to below minus-40C. They were nearly as low in central and inland portions of Norway including the towns of Folldal and Røros. In Oslo, public transport was recovering from all the snow earlier in the week, like here where one of the new electric ferries to Nesodden glided past Aker Brygge, better known for all its popular outdoor cafés in the summer.
Other boat transport has been docked for the winter, which is turning into one of the coldest in decades. The weather was due to get so cold that Oslo’s central train station was offering emergency refuge for homeless people seeking shelter. “Everyone who’s inside the station when it’s closing time can spend the night here,” Harry Korslund, spokesman for state railway agency BaneNor told newspaper Avisa Oslo. City-run shelters and the Salvation Army were also expanding capacity.
Oslo’s historic Akershus Fortress and Castle was decked out in winter grandeur on Friday. In some areas, meanwhile, it’s so cold that ski resorts including Hemsedal and Strandafjellet in Sunnmørs Alps have closed down chairlifts. “It’s too cold to run them and not safe for our guests,” Mari Riksheim at Strandafjellet told NRK. Schools also remained closed through the week in the southern coastal area hit hardest from Kristiansand north to Larvik, first because of all the snow and later because of problems with some indoor heating systems, also in the Oslo area.
Roads have been mostly cleared of snow but remain slick with driving hazardous. Police are still urging anyone heading off on car trips to be sure to have food, warm drinks and plenty of warm clothes inside the vehicle in case of unexpected delays. State meteorologists were predicting that the unusually cold temperatures would continue well into next week.
ALL PHOTOS: Morten Møst
TEXT: NewsinEnglish.no/Nina Berglund