Northern Norway hit by major flooding

Massive weekend downpours coupled with melting snow led to the worst flooding in Troms, northern Norway, since the 1940s.

Northern Norway hit by major flooding
Photo: Ole Aasheim/Scanpix

“The level of destruction is immense in certain places,” said Helene Rognli, council chief in Målselv, one of four municipalities hit by flooding after 60 millimetres of rain fell in the area on Saturday.

“We now face a major challenge. Farmers have lost their crops, and roads and bridges have been destroyed,” she said.

As rivers burst their banks and melting snow streamed down from nearby mountains, all roads leading to the valley of Kirkesdalen became completely inaccessible.

“We have phoned around to almost everybody who lives there and people are in good spirits,” said Rognli on Sunday, adding that there were no reports of any injuries.

Meteorologist Geir Bøyum said the Tromsø branch of the met office was caught off guard by the amount of rain that fell in a 12-hour period on Saturday.

“This is a record for rainfall in July in this area. It may even be a one-day record for any month of the year, but we haven’t checked that up yet,” he said.

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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.