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Norwegian Natural Disasters Posted by on Jul 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

As I think about all of the strange weather occurrences that I have experienced growing up in Minnesota, I realize that in my time living in Norway, I really didn´t experience any severe weather.  The winter of 2006 was certainly very cold in Oslo when I was there, but I do not remember any bad snowstorms during the winter, nor do I remember severe weather during the spring or summer.  The only months that I have spent only partially in Norway or not at all are October, November, and December.

At first glance, it may not seem like Norway experiences a high degree of natural disasters.  However, if you consider the size of the country and all of the various forms of severe weather, to me it seems like Norway puts up with quite a bit!  Norway is approximately the same size as MN, which is one of the most extreme climates in the world as far as temperature ranges and different types of weather.  While in MN we deal with extreme cold and heat, major snowstorms, hail, thunderstorms and lightning, but we are fortunate not to have to worry about what coastal communities or mountain communities constantly monitor-hurricanes, tsunamis, volcanoes, avalanches, and landslides.

I checked out some Norwegian news today and found a pretty big consequence of a natural disaster.  A landslide occurred yesterday in the central part of the country (between Ål and Hol to be exact) which produced enough damage to make Bergensbanen (the train tracks from Bergen to Oslo) impassable in this area.  A Jernbaneverket (State Railway) employee told NRK that the line will not be open until at least Monday.

Besides landslides, rockslides, and earthslides, Norway experiences flooding, ice jams, strong winds, snowstorms, avalanches, storm surges at sea, permafrost, the occasional earthquake and tsunami.  Norway consists of mountains, rolling hills, and bodies of water surrounding the country.  The mountains that frame the fjords create the high potential for avalanches and landslides, which can result in small tsunamis.

The west coast of Norway experiences severe weather because the weather comes in off of the rough waters of the Atlantic and the North Sea.  Strong winds and torrential rain can produce extremely high and powerful waves that can do serious damage on the coast and of course in the water.

My dad just got back from an adventure on the Christian Radich, a massive Norwegian tall ship.  He was on the leg of the journey that sailed from Oslo to Waterford, Ireland.  Even with over a week on the water in one of the most dangerous seas in the world, the group managed to avoid severe weather.  Woo hoo!

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About the Author: kari

I attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where I majored in Norwegian and History. During college, I spent almost a year living in Oslo, Norway, where I attended the University of Oslo and completed an internship at the United States Embassy. I have worked for Concordia Language Villages as a pre-K Norwegian teacher and have taught an adult Norwegian language class. Right now, I keep up by writing this Norwegian blog for Transparent Language. Please read and share your thoughts! I will be continuing this blog from my future residence in the Norwegian arctic!