Norway’s next extreme winter

Weather forecasts predict an “abnormally cold” winter in Norway—five frosty facts

Photo: CH / Norway might see a harsh winter, but it will still be beautiful.

Photo: CH /
Norway might see a harsh winter, but it will still be beautiful.

The Local

1. How cold will it get?
Pretty darn cold, apparently. Major weather site Accuweather suggests the extreme chill will largely bypass most of Europe and the British isles, instead massing in Scandinavia, which is predicted to experience an “abnormally cold” winter.

“The first half of winter will only feature brief glimpses of cold air as the core of the cold continues to build over Scandinavia,” warns the Accuweather report.

On the other hand, U.S. weather agency WSI predicts that the Nordic region will experience a warmer November and December than normal, although it suggests you brace yourself for a colder-than-average January.

2. How does it compare to last year?
Let’s just say that if you moved to Norway in 2014 and thought that the winter was really not as bad as everyone had been telling you, you could be in for a nasty surprise.

While Norway’s West Coast did experience record snowfall, temperatures were also a lot milder than normal last year. According to, average temperatures across the country were 2.3C higher than normal.

3. Is there any silver lining?
Do you like skiing? Good. According to Accuweather, Stockholm is going to get 66 snow or ice days between November and March, which bodes well for Norway. In the words of the site’s senior meteorologist Jason Nicholls, it’s going to be “a good season overall for skiers.”

In fact, parts of Norway have already had their first taste of the white stuff. The Norwegian Public Roads Authority was warning Norwegians to switch to their winter tires to cross the country’s central mountain passes in October.

4. How will I cope with weather that cold?
We know your sofa and a hot cup of chocolate will seem increasingly tempting, but spending time outdoors is vital to stock up on Vitamin D, which helps fight the winter blues and protect against colds. There is also plenty to love about winter in Norway, such as snow sports, the beautiful frosty Nordic landscape, and all the Christmas lights.

5. Are you sure the forecast is right?
Well actually, no. Long-term reports are notoriously hard to get right and Norwegian Meteorological Institute refuses to provide long-term winter forecasts. Last year, WSI predicted an extremely cold winter. In the end it turned out to be one of the continent’s mildest winter for several hundred years.

“Long-term forecasts can be capricious,” Norwegian weather site Yr wrote in response to the Accuweather forecast. “The models often provide a very wide spread of results,” Meteorological Institute researcher Rasmus Benestad said.

This article was originally published on The Local.

It also appeared in the Nov. 6, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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