In Norway, this winter has seen the least snow for around 60 years, according to the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate.
There has been less snow in Valdres than there has been since the 1950s, reported VG newspaper. Throughout the eastern part of the country, and half of southern Norway, there was no snow.
‘It is the eastern part which is quite special in winter. Here, there is bare ground everywhere’, said researcher, Thomas Skaugen, of the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE).
Over large parts of Hardangervidda, this year’s snow cover was among the two to three poorest recorded inside NVE’s model. Also, in Southern and Western Norway, one must go far up the valleys to find snow.
‘There are two factors that have created this situation; weather that is typical of western Norway, with higher temperatures and little rainfall when it has been cold. We see that, for example, in the Valdres area, one needs to go up to 1400 meters (4593 feet) to find normal conditions’, said Skaugen.
Earlier this week, the Norwegian Meteorological Institute said that they have snow measurements going back 141 years for Bjørnholt in Nordmarka, and only five of those years were snow free in January.
‘We see a development that was expected; it is a good match with what climate models have already shown. In the north of Norway, we have had modest snow in the lowlands, but still far greater than the normal height above sea level.
With temperatures increasing over many years, we will gradually experience more and more years where there is only snow on the highest mountains’, said Skaugen.
Looking ahead, the weather will be either mild and dry, or mild and wet, according to a monthly notice released by StormGeo.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today