Only one place in Norway had above-average temperatures in March. The same place where they’ve been above normal for more than seven years.
The average temperature at Svalbard Airport in March was minus 12.7 degrees Celsius, three degrees warmer than normal. The relative heat is also being blamed for causing a frigid month on the mainland.
“The reason for the extra cold month is simply that the country has been getting cold air from the north and that the mild air from the south has not managed to penetrate,” Terje Alsvik Walløe, a state meteorologist told the Norwegian News Agency.
Temperatures on the mainland were generally two to three degrees colder than normal, but Kautokeino in Finnmark was one of the coldest places with temperatures 13.9 degrees below normal.
In Longyearbyen the highest temperature during the month was 1.4 degrees on March 17 and the lowest was minus 19.3 degrees on March 22.
Precipitation, however, was far below normal with a total of 6.2 millimeters, compared to the average of 23 millimeters. There was only one three-day period between March 16 and 18 when measurable precipitation fell.
The unusual weather is part of a global trend as most regions above the Arctic Circle have experienced record-setting temperatures during the winter.
That, in turn, is being cited as the cause of extreme cold and precipitation in Europe and North America. Researchers attribute the abnormalities to climate change, which is occurring twice as fast int he Arctic as the rest of the world.
That defied Shoppers seeking sardines are searching the aisles, those seeking staples may no longer be able to make a connection and devotees of the sad-looking – but immensely popular among students and others – “red-tag” blemished produce are being denied entirely.