Norway Paralysed by Unprecedented Cold Snap

Cold snap grinds Norway to a halt. Image: Shutterstock/Roman Arbuzov

SCANDINAVIA is currently dealing with an unprecedented winter onslaught as record-breaking low temperatures and heavy snowfall wreak havoc across Norway. The extremity of the weather conditions has paralysed cities and towns, leading to widespread disruptions in daily life.

Extreme Conditions in Scandinavian Mountains

Nikkaluokta, a Swedish town in the Scandinavian Mountains, plummeted to an astonishing -40.5 degrees Celsius. The freezing temperatures prompted Vy, the railway company, to suspend connections between Kiruna and Luleå due to the perilous weather.

Southern Norway Buried Under Snow

Southern Norway faced a relentless deluge of snow, particularly in Arendal, where an astounding 70 cm (27.6 inches) of snow accumulated in a single day. Weather forecasts ominously predict an additional 40 cm (15.7 inches) of snowfall. Consequently, local authorities were compelled to shut down schools and kindergartens. The intensity of the snowfall halted mail delivery and suspended garbage collection services. In Kristiansand, residents were advised to work remotely due to the treacherous conditions.

Impact Beyond Norway: Warnings and Disrupted Services

This extreme weather isn’t exclusive to Sweden and Norway. Meteorological services in Denmark have sounded alarms about the anticipated heavy precipitation of wet snow and rain, expected to combine with strong winds. Areas like Skåne in southern Sweden and northern Jutland in Denmark are at risk of potential local flooding due to these conditions.

The severity of the weather has disrupted ferry operations between Poland and Sweden, leaving thousands of Norwegians stranded in snowdrifts as they try to shovel their way out. The sheer volume of snow burying the southern regions of Norway has been labelled ‘unusual,’ with forecasts predicting continued snowfall throughout the week.

Disruptions and Precautionary Measures

State meteorologists had warned about heavy snow accompanied by strong winds, and due to this various modes of transportation have been disrupted, with thousands losing electricity in the southwestern county of Agder.

Local authorities in cities like Kristiansand, Arendal, and Risør established crisis management teams to navigate the crisis. Garages were opened to allow motorists who managed to free their cars from snowbound streets to move them, facilitating snowploughs to clear roads and walkways.

Continued Challenges and Future Predictions

With the snow persisting, local train lines, including Arendalsbanen, sections of Sørlandsbanen, and Vestfoldbanen further north, had to shut down. Commuters in Tønsberg faced limited alternatives due to roads being congested by snow, prompting authorities to advise working from home if feasible. Traffic woes continued throughout the day, aggravated by the closure of the main E18 highway near Grimstad on the southern coast.

Forecast and Recommendations

The forecast remains grim, with meteorologists predicting an additional 40 centimetres of snow by Thursday, January 4 atop the already substantial accumulation. Grimstad and downtown Kristiansand were deeply blanketed, making driving all but impossible, prompting local authorities to urge residents to stay indoors.

The gravity of the situation along the coast surpassed that in the mountains, where roads managed to stay operational. However, motorists had to endure lengthy queues to join escorted convoys.

Furthermore, a new cold front approaching will bring plummeting temperatures that could persist into the following week, affecting Oslo residents and beyond.

As Norway deals with this relentless winter onslaught, authorities continue to urge extreme caution, advising residents to stay home and prepare for more disruptive weather conditions in the days ahead.

For more European news click here

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

Catherine McGeer

I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!


    • Gerry

      03 January 2024 • 20:55

      My goodness, that’s extreme 🥶 🥶

    Comments are closed.