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WEATHER

Northern Lights likely to be visible over large parts of Norway this weekend

Large parts of Norway may be treated to the presence of the Northern Lights and the natural phenomenon could be visible as far south as Kristiansand, according to forecasts.

Pictured are the Northern Lights in Norway.
Those in Norway could be treated to the presence of the Northern Lights this weekend. Pictured are the Northern Lights in Norway. Photo by David Becker on Unsplash

Residents in southern Norway could have a chance to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights this weekend, forecasters have said.

The KP index will be between five and six this weekend, according to several forecasting sites. The northern parts of the Earth are divided into KP zones. The zones range from one to nine. For example, Tromsø, in the north, is in KP1 and Oslo in the southeast is in KP4.

The stronger the geomagnetic activity, the higher the KP number, and the further south the lights can be seen. KP5 and above is considered a geomagnetic storm.

A KP index of six means that there is a good chance that the lights will be visible even further south than Oslo.

However, a KP Index isn’t the only factor that determine whether you get to set your sights on the elusive lights. Instead, you will need some help from the weather forecast. Cloud coverage and light pollution hinder chances of seeing the lights.

Meteorologist Eldbjørg Moxnes told public broadcaster NRK that Saturday and the early hours of Sunday may be the best day to try and spot the Northern Lights.

“The best opportunities will probably be in the north as it looks now. It is a bit unfortunate that it will be cloudy until Saturday night in the south. A front is coming in from the west,” she said NRK.

During the early hours of Sunday morning, the clouds will break giving residents in Telemark and Buskerud a chance to see the lights.

Although, for those dismayed by the potential cloud coverage Moxnes did have some reassuring words.

“The cloud cover forecast is relatively uncertain several days ahead. Hope is probably not completely lost, here you just have to keep an eye on it in the short term,” she said.

In the longer term, the Northern Lights could become a more frequent occurrence over the next few years as the sun becomes more active after a few dormant years, according to an earlier NRK report.

READ MORE: How to take the best pictures of the Northern Lights

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WEATHER

Floods in Vestland County: Almost all roads open again

In recent days, many roads in Vestland County, in western Norway, have been closed due to flooding.

Floods in Vestland County: Almost all roads open again

Now almost all of them are open again, according to the Norwegian Road Administration.

However, two smaller bridges, in Skulestad and Ullensvang, are still closed to passenger cars, traffic operator Kjetil Larsen in the Norwegian Road Administration told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

There have been major floods in Western Norway since Thursday.

READ MORE: Parts of Western Norway hit by major floods, several roads closed

Voss area hit by major floods

On Sunday, Voss Municipality wrote in a press release that the flood it experienced has probably been the second worst in the area in modern times.

The village of Evanger, in the same municipality, believes these were the worst floods the village was exposed to in modern times.

Insurance companies report that most of the damage in the area was caused by water entering into cellars or leaks through roofs and walls.

“Grateful that no lives have been lost”

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre commented on the floods in Voss on Saturday, thanking everyone who helped limit the damage.

“I want to thank everyone who is now – in various ways – ensuring that people are safe and working hard to limit the damage caused by the flood. We are all grateful that no lives have been lost,” Prime Minister Støre said.

“The destruction is extensive, and the flood has led to closed roads, blocked train traffic, and a lot of damage. There is damage to houses and homes, businesses have been shut down, schools and cultural centres have been flooded, and sports fields destroyed,” he added.

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