tirsdag 7. januar 2014

Winter That NeVer Was...a most Un Norwegian Winter

We have had no less than seven winters in Oslo and Southland where XC skiing was a mere wander out the door, blue wax for the most and then wonderful mountain experiences on hills nearby decked with the fantastic white stuff. Okay you did get some nasty thawbacks with freezing but last year even we got a top up of snow in time for the very late and coolish easter. But not his year. Even inland Hamar, south of its little sister of Olympic 1994 fame, had its first grey christmas in 32 years. Wet. windy and relatively mild being around 10 degrees higher on average I reckon compared to the preceeding 5 years.

Frustration noj doubt abounds as people in the east and south east get a feel for what a Bergen winter is typically like, with skitours demanding at least an hour and a half in the car and then being blowy messsy affairs.

We can ski as close as that right now, but effectively using 4 hours for a couple of on skis is not worth it with the weather being  cloudy and windy.

Global warming has probably caused ironically enough the last five very hard winters in the south and mid norway, with a week arctic vortex allowing high pressure areas to spill down across the moderate climes and probably shutting down the nasty north atlantic gradient. This year there was more sea ice in the arctic and the opposite happened with an unusually wild vortex powering the jet stream storms over the atlantic and also eventually spilling down in a great bow of cold misery over the mid west and eastern states of the USA.

This time  last year I remember walking to work in -13C in the dark, walking to my job in a drilling company and meeting the electric car users in the garage as they plugged in to recharge due to the cold weather making it marginal for 90 km round tour or not with the heater actually on- the irony of 99% of our contracts being oil and gas, just one or two in geothermal, wasd a bit lost on me then.   

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