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

Are Norway’s warm November temperatures out of the ordinary?
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A temperature of 18.1 degrees Celsius was recorded in Tafjord, a village in the west of Norway, on Sunday night.

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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