Meanwhile, on the other side of the North Sea...

  • Norwegian Flag - Photo: Tony Marshall/EMPICS Sport

  • Meanwhile, on the other side of the North Sea...
    27.02.2014 16:51

    Britain has endured an unusually wet and windy winter with some parts of the country still struggling to recover from devastating floods and storm damage. It has been a little different across the North Sea in Norway though with reports of a very dry and mild winter emerging over the last couple of weeks.

    It was reported earlier this month that the northernmost parts of Norway had seen their driest January since records began 150 years ago. One reason for this dry weather is a relatively persistent area of high pressure which sat across Russia and the Baltic Sea. This high pressure prevented Atlantic weather systems from reaching Norway for a time, depriving them of their usual rain and snow. Obviously, there are parts of Britain which would have welcomed a break from the rain, but in Norway the dry weather has been linked to a series of wildfires which have destroyed 200 homes since January.

    Recent figures also suggest that western parts of the country had unusually mild weather this winter. The city of Bergen in western Norway has had an average temperature of 4.8 degrees Celsius across the winter months of December, January and February. This beats the previous record set in 1990 when the average winter temperature was 4.6 degrees Celsius. Average daily temperatures usually hover between 2 and 3 degrees Celsius in the winter.

    Relatively mild weather has also had an affect on Svalbard, the archipelago in the Arctic Circle north of Norway. Sea ice around the islands is at unusually low levels at the moment, especially along the south and west coasts. Fjords which have usually frozen over at this time of year remain relatively ice free, affecting both wildlife and tourism.

    Of course, by averaging out the weather across a season, you can overlook some extreme conditions. Whilst several areas have had a mild winter, it hasn't above average everywhere. For example, a cold snap in mid-January took the temperature down to minus 42 degrees Celsius in the far north of Norway.

    By: George Goodfellow