Norway numbed: Mercury drops to -37 degrees

Temperatures plunged to a perishing -37 degrees Celsius on Tuesday to give Telemark county in southern Norway its coldest day in more than three decades.

Norway numbed: Mercury drops to -37 degrees
Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen/Scanpix (File)

Tore Larsen, who lives in a cottage on the shores of Møsvatn lake, decided to rethink his plans for the day after taking a look at his thermometer.

“Right now it’s -37 degrees here. I was actually supposed to travel to West Telemark today to install a satellite dish but I’ve put that off for now,” he said.

Meteorologists said the temperature was the lowest recorded in the country on Tuesday, as well as being the lowest in memory in the Telemark area. However, since it was recorded by an individual home owner it is not destined to enter the record books.

“We recorded -31.8 degrees at Møsstrond in Telemark in 1980. We haven’t had any colder measurements at our weather stations since then, so this is probably a new record cold level for Telemark,” Øyvind Johnsen from the Norwegian Meteorological Institute told national broadcaster NRK.

The cold snap stems from a high pressure belt over Finland and Russia, which may be set to bring even colder weather over the coming days.

“It’s likely that conditions will remain much the same overnight so it could get a bit colder. That’s also how it looks for the rest of the week,” said Johnsen.

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Partial lunar eclipse to be visible over parts of Norway

People in parts of Norway may be able to witness a partial lunar eclipse on Friday. 

Pictured is a lunar eclipse
Friday will see a partial lunar eclipse over Norway. Pictured is a lunar eclipse. Photo by Roger Starnes Sr on Unsplash

On Friday morning, the sun, the earth and the moon will align, causing a partial lunar eclipse. Friday’s celestial showcase will be an almost total lunar eclipse, with only a tiny part of the moon not ending up in the earth’s shadow. 

The eclipse will be most visible at 10:03am, when 98 percent of the moon will be in shadow. 

The moon will take on a reddish tinge as sunlight that passes through the earth’s atmosphere will be refracted back onto the moon. 

People in the north of Norway will have the best eclipse experience because the moon doesn’t go down until later in the morning at higher latitudes. The weather will also be better further north, according to forecasts. 

Residents of east and west Norway hoping for a show may have their views hindered by clouds. 

“If you are lucky, you’ll be able to see it from several parts of the country,” Randveig Eikhild from the Meteorological Institute told public broadcaster NRK

The best place to see the eclipse will be somewhere with a good clear view of the horizon, without mountains, hills or buildings in the way. 

For those in the south, where the view may not be the best due to the brighter mornings, there’s another celestial event on Friday that they will be able to witness. 

Once the sun goes down, gas giants Jupiter and Saturn will be visible in the night sky and very close together. Saturn won’t be visible from the north, however. 

“Jupiter and Saturn are quite close to each other and are beautiful in the fall. However, they are not always as close as they are now. It can be a very nice sight,” Pål Brekke, from the Norwegian Space Centre, explained to NRK.