Archive for March, 2011

Tønsvik

After weeks of grey and stormy weather, with half a metre of new snow in the past week, we FINALLY woke up to blue skies and sunshine on Sunday. Of course we had to take advantage of that :) so we drove to Tønsvik to go skiing in the valley there.

The last bit of blue sky before the snow shower hit us This scene reminded us of a postcard that Pauls parents once sent us: a birch forest with a moose hiding between the trees. As we didn't have a moose handy, Paul had to take its place ;)

The first bit was really lovely in the sunshine, but soon we got hit by a snow shower that seemed to last forever. The snow flakes were enormous and quite pretty, but we got covered in wet snow which my down jacket didn’t like too much. After a break for sandwiches and chocolate, we watched the blue skies return :)

In the middle of the snow shower, taking a much needed break to drink some water On the way back, when skies cleared again

We even got the sunshine back! We weren’t sure, as it was after 18:00 by then and we thought the sun might be behind the mountains. The days are getting very long very quickly, I’m loving it!

Untouched snow... so pretty Sun sun sun!

The light was beautiful on the way back, a warm golden light :) The way back was downhill all the way, with some very fun descents, and we made it back to the car by 19:00.

Nice natural arch :) Paul at sunset

Such a nice trip! When the weather is grey for such a long time, I really start longing for spring, and really envy people back home who can already sit out in the garden and enjoy spring flowers. But when the sun finally comes out after we’ve had fresh snowfall, I completely forget that and just enjoy our long winter :)

That’s all, hopefully more soon as I still have so many photos to share! I have some days off this week, so I might finally find time to get them online :)

Stormsafari

We’ve been battered by storm after storm in the past weeks, which made shifts at work quite hectic! You’d think I’d stay miles away from it on my day off, but no – I actually went storm chasing! Or in Norwegian, I went on a “stormsafari”. A colleague, Gunnar, proposed to drive to the outer coast to experience the stormy weather firsthand. Driving there was quite an adventure, the snow was blowing over the road reducing the visibility to nearly zero –  though luckily only in small patches. We drove to Sommarøy, parked the car and went over a small hill to reach the outer coastline. I had never experienced so much wind before!! It was really impressive trying to walk against the wind, and at times simply being blown backwards!

At the windiest point - it was hard not to be blown backwards here! Gunnar in the storm

Sevim and I brought anemometers (wind meters), mine measured a maximum wind speed (in a gust) of 32 m/s, which is 115 km/h or 72 mph. That would be force 11, but wind force is measured on the average wind and not the gusts, and I estimate it was about force 9.

Sevim and I took windmeters - mine measured a max wind of 32 m/s (115 km/h or 72 mph) which is force 11. On average I think it was force 9. (Photo by Gunnar) Luckily it wasn't very cold! (Photo by Sevim)

At the coast, we could see enormous waves breaking everywhere. The ones that broke on the coast were really spectacular…

Huge waves were breaking at the coast A stormy sea, lit up by a brief bit of sunshine. The island in the background is Håja

Luckily, it wasn’t very cold. Even with the windchill it was reasonably comfortable and we stayed out for about an hour, even including a short break with chocolate and a warm drink. After that, we had lunch at the nearby cafe to warm up :)

Gunnar and Sevim Panorama of the islands off the coast, Håja on the right

What a day! I really enjoyed it, and it was great to experience a bit of what I forecast :) We often forecast difficult driving conditions, blowing snow and strong winds, but here in Tromsø we’re very sheltered and rarely experience anything extreme.

This day also reminded me of another “stormsafari” 4 years ago, at the coast in England. You can read about it here, I even made a video. A pity I didn’t think of it this time!

There’s another couple of storms on the way, but I am escaping tomorrow morning :) I’m going to Oslo for a work meeting, followed by some days off which I will spend with my mum in Oslo and Halden. Fingers crossed we’ll have a bit better weather over there :)