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WEATHER

Here’s where you can expect a white Christmas in Norway

With eight days to go until (Norwegian) Christmas, forecasts for Christmas Eve snow have been issued.

Here’s where you can expect a white Christmas in Norway
Will Bergen get a white Christmas this year? Photo: GekaSkr/Depositphotos

The forecasts for 2019 may be more reliable than usual, according to reports.

Although white Christmases have become a rarer phenomenon in Norway, with this year no exception, some parts of the country will wake up to bleak midwinter weather at Christmas.

A number of signs can be used to predict the yuletide weather, Aftenposten reports.

If there is already snow on the ground where you live, it is likely that will also be the case once Santa has passed by with his sleigh. The opposite also holds true: if you don’t have snow on the ground right now, you’re less likely to have a white Christmas.

A spell of milder temperatures is forecast to begin around Thursday and continue through the weekend before becoming colder, Magnus Ovhed, duty meteorologist at the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, told Aftenposten.

“The whole country will have a period of milder weather. But there is consensus that it will get colder after this spell of mild weather,” Ovhed said.

That means temperatures around Christmas Eve are likely to be similar to now.

Norway residents can check out the depth of snow in their local area on this website, which the Norwegian Meteorological Institute helped to develop.

The Meteorological Institute tweeted three images comparing the forecast snowfall for Christmas 2019 with the actual snowfall for the last two Christmases.

The images show more Christmas snow in both 2017 and 2018 compared to this year's forecast.

There will still be snow in much of the country, however.

“First and foremost, there is snow inland, and then there is snow along large sections of the coast all the way up to Lofoten,” Ovhed told Aftenposten.

Oslo, can expect sub-zero temperatures on Christmas Eve but snow is unlikely, the meteorologist said.

READ ALSO: Which of these Norwegian Christmas traditions is the strangest?

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CHRISTMAS

Could Christmas in Norway be affected by new Covid-19 measures?

Norway’s government has in the last two days announced tightened rules relating to Covid-19 isolation and face masks. Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre sought to reassure the public over plans for the Christmas holidays.

Norway's PM Jonas Gahr Støre expects the country's residents to be able to celebrate Christmas normally but cannot rule out new Covid-19 measures before December 24th.
Norway's PM Jonas Gahr Støre expects the country's residents to be able to celebrate Christmas normally but cannot rule out new Covid-19 measures before December 24th. Photo by Chad Madden on Unsplash

The government on Tuesday announced new measures relating to quarantine rules for confirmed Covid-19 cases and face mask guidelines.

The measures, which are being introduced in response to increasing infection numbers, include more stringent isolation rules, face mask recommendations and a push to vaccinate over 65s with booster jabs as soon as possible.

“On one side, we must avoid full hospitals and strain on the health system. On the other side we must live as normally as possible. We must keep finding the right balance in the measures,” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said in a statement.

Tighter quarantine rules for suspected cases with the new Omicron variant were meanwhile launched on Monday. People who test positive for or are believed to be infected with the Omicron variant will need to isolate for longer than others with the virus.

READ ALSO:

In comments during a briefing to press on Tuesday, Støre sought to reassure the public over plans to spend Christmas with loved ones.

“The measures we have introduced are settings that make it possible to celebrate a good Christmas while keeping in mind what you can do with your loved ones,” the PM said in comments reported by newspaper VG.

“We can plan to be with our families at Christmas,” he added.

Last year saw Christmas in Norway significantly impacted by restrictions on the number of people who could meet and mixing between households.

Such far-reaching restrictions are not expected in 2021. Støre did not however rule out additional measures being introduced before December 24th.

“What we have presented today is based on the knowledge we already have,” he said.

“It is the total restrictions that count. If we are in the same situation (as now) when we get to December 24th, you can celebrate Christmas normally,” Støre said, but noted the virus would be present throughout the winter.

The aim of any measures is to keep the pandemic under control throughout the winter, he added.

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