Are Norway’s warm November temperatures out of the ordinary?

A temperature of 18.1 degrees Celsius was recorded in Tafjord, a village in the west of Norway, on Sunday night.

Are Norway’s warm November temperatures out of the ordinary?
Photo: Bit Cloud on Unsplash

The high temperature at the Møre and Romsdal County location is in contrast with the 6.9 degrees Celsius recorded at the same spot one year previously, NRK writes.

It is not an all-time record for the village, however: a balmy 21.8 degrees Celsius at Tafjord in 2003 takes that honour.

Although what seems like an abnormally high November temperature is therefore not entirely unprecedented, it is nevertheless a sign of autumns in the Nordic country becoming more mild affairs, MET Norway climate researcher Jostein Mamen told NRK.

“It’s not unusual to have such high temperatures in November but the trend shows we now have milder autumns,” Mamen said.

Dry, down-slope winds on the downwind side of mountain ranges, known as föhn winds, can cause warmer temperatures in places like Tafjord.

In Norway, the phenomenon can occur in both the east and west of the country, depending on the direction of the wind.

Tafjord, located 1,500 metres above sea level, is one of a number of areas which have optimal conditions for föhn winds.

But a trend towards warmer Novembers seen in Norway in general may also be contributing to higher temperatures, according to Mamen.

The first half of the current month has seen temperatures 10 degrees above average on Arctic archipelago Svalbard; and 6-7 degrees higher than average in inland regions such as Innlandet and non-coastal parts of Troms.

County (fylke) records for November have meanwhile been set in Oslo, Viken, Vestfold and Telemark, according to the MET Norway meteorologist.

“It’s not unusual for us to have some mild days in November, but it is unusual that we’ve  had a warm period for so long,” another state meteorologist, Magnus Haukeland, said to NRK.

Southerly and southwesterly winds from the European continent were part of the reason for Norway’s – so far – warm November, 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.