Heavy Snow Shuts Down Much of Norway

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Heavy snow blanketed Norway’s southern coast during the holiday weekend, like here in the port city of Kristiansand. PHOTO: Svein Tellefsen

Norway’s News in English reports that heavy year-end snow stranded thousands of Norwegians as they rang in the New Year.

“Thousands of Norwegians started the New Year by being stuck in snowdrifts or trying to shovel their way out of them,” said News In English. “The enormous amounts of snow that have buried much of the southern part of the country were branded as ‘unusual,’ and more snow is expected throughout the week.”

The Norwegian Meteorological Institute (NMI) issued a range of severe winter weather alerts prior to the New Year’s celebrations ranging from yellow, “a moderate situation that requires vigilance and may cause local damages,” to orange, a “severe situation that occurs rarely, requires contingency preparedness and may cause severe damages [and carries a] considerable risk of avalanche danger.”

NMI meteorologist Martin Granerød “told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) on [December 29]. “We can expect between 20- and 50 centimeters of snow.”

The predicted maximum amount of snowfall was exceeded when, by January 1, 2024, snow totals in some areas has topped 70 cm. There were widespread schools closures and additional snowmobiles were provided to the Red Cross for medical transport, through January 3.

Other winter weather snow emergency measures taken by Norwegian autorities, as reported by News in English, included:

Officials in the southern cities of Kristiansand and Arendal set up crisis management teams to handle the deluge, as did the smaller coastal community of Risør after nearly 70 centimeters had fallen by Monday afternoon. Local authorities also opened up city garages for free, so that motorists who managed to dig out their cars parked on city streets could get them out of the way and make it easier for snowplows to clear streets and sidewalks.

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