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 :)

2 Responses to “Stormsafari”

  1. Great photos! I can FEEL the wind through your photos! Looks colder than winter here in AK with all that wind.

    • Hanneke says:

      It was actually above zero (32 F), don’t think we would have lasted long otherwise! You can see there was hardly any snow left in that area. It was a great experience to really feel the power of the wind :)