Record-breaking winds hit parts of northern Norway, causing widespread damage

Record-breaking winds hit parts of northern Norway, causing widespread damage

A powerful storm brought hurricane-force winds to northern Norway on January 29, 2024, tearing down buildings and disrupting transport, while leaving thousands without power. Another storm system is expected to rapidly intensify before making landfall in Norway on January 31, bringing extremely strong winds and heavy snowfall.

The intense weather system tore down buildings, threw boats onto roads, and left thousands of residents without power. In response to the severe conditions, police advised residents to stay indoors and seek cover.

The storm brought transportation to a standstill, with the cancellation of most flights, ferry, and shipping routes. The airports of Tromsø, Bodø, and Evenes, serving Narvik and Harstad, were among the hardest hit, along with smaller airports following the cancellation of all flights north of Trondheim by airline Widerøe. Coastal voyage lines, including Hurtigruten and Havila, also kept their ships in port and canceled departures due to forecasts of high waves and strong winds, gusting at speeds up to 115 km/h (72 mph) and beyond.

Record-breaking wind speeds were registered in several areas: 137 km/h (85 mph) at Bø in Vesterålen, 150 km/h (93 mph) on the island of Værøy, and 126 km/h (78 mph) at Leknes airport in Lofoten. An astonishing 230 km/h (143 mph) was recorded at Tverrfjellet in Glomfjord. State meteorologist Eirik Samuelsen noted on social media that these winds were unprecedented along the coast.

“The damage could have been worse and the winds could have gotten even stronger if the low pressure had moved even closer to the coast, which I think we should be glad it didn’t,” Samuelsen said.

The storm triggered several avalanches, including one on the RV 85 highway leading to Kvæfjord and its ferry port, effectively isolating Vesterålen. The main E6 highway over Saltfjellet in Nordland County was also affected, and evacuations were ordered in several homes on Lofoten due to rising seas posing a flooding threat.

Another storm system is expected to strengthen rapidly on January 31 between Iceland and Norway and make landfall late January 31 (LT) into February 1. This system could bring extremely strong winds and very heavy snowfall.


1 Storm batters Northern Norway – NEWSinENGLISH – January 29, 2024


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