Extreme weather system Aina batters Norway

Powerful winds, downpours and high waves can cause potential damage as storm system Aina passes over Norway on Friday.

Extreme weather system Aina batters Norway
Photo: / NTB scanpix

The western Hordaland and Rogaland counties have already seen storm-strength winds of up to 35 metres per second as the extreme weather got underway in the early hours of Friday, reports broadcaster NRK.

Fire services in the region dispatched to help secure boats were forced to abandon their operation and return to land for their own safety, according to a tweet posted by Hordaland’s fire service, which cited “extremely bad weather.”

On Friday morning, northwesterly winds were measuring at 25 metres per second and up to full storm strength, according to NRK’s report.

Waves of up to 8-11 metres in height are expected on the west coast.

The Meteorological Institute also reported heavy snowfall on mountain pass areas in the southern part of the country.

State traffic agency Veitrafikksentralen announced that road E134 had been closed in the Haukelifjell  area due to the conditions. A ferry service connecting Hattvik and Venjaneset near Bergen, and another connecting Tau and Stavanger, were also temporarily closed.

A combination of strong winds, heavy precipitation and high waves gives a high risk of significant damage, reports NRK.

Conditions are expected to ease in the Nordland county and in southern Norway on Friday, while increasing in the Troms and western Finnmark areas, the Meteorological Institute reported on Friday morning.

Storm conditions are expected to continue on the west coast and parts of the mountains in the south of the country, wrote the agency.

READ ALSO: Norway faces windy winter weather


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.