The polar night is gone as the sun was barely above the horizon at 69 degrees north on Sunday. With the sun comes the cold and the abnormal warm winter in northern Scandinavia and northwestern Russia seems to be over.
This photo of the first sunbeam over Finnmark in northern Norway was taken on Sunday. Then, the sun had been under the horizon since late November. The sun rose just before noon and set again 12 minutes later.
From now, the daylight lasts longer every day and already by mid-March the days are longer in cities like Tromsø and Murmansk than in more southern cities like Oslo and Moscow.
Believing that the sun is back means the heat is on? Not so. With the sun comes the high pressure, also known as the anti-cyclone, and that causes temperatures to drop. So also this year. Temperature in Kautokeino in inner Finnmark was minus 40 degrees Celsius Sunday morning. In Murmansk, on Russia’s Kola Peninsula, temperatures over the last four-five days have been down to minus 35. That is cold. Abnormal freezing Murmansk to be on the Gulf-stream heated Barents Sea coast.
In Levi, the most popular ski-resort in Finnish Lapland, downhill skiing is not very tempting with temperature this weekend down to minus 38.
The freezing Barents Region starting 2014 is succeeding a record warm 2013 with an average temperature in northern Norway 1,7 degrees Celsius warmer than average. Parts of Finnmark had two to three degrees warmer than normal in average over the year, with a peak in early June when temperatures reached up to plus 30.
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Renowned Norwegian actress Gørild Mauseth is in the leading role when actors and producers from the Gorky Dramatic Theatre in Vladivostok come to Harstad to present a unique version of Tolsoy’s classic play Anna Karenina.
Nuclear safety projects in the Murmansk region wouldn’t be the same without her contribution. Finnish European Parliament Member Heidi Hautala is today one of 89 Europeans barred from Russia in response to EU sanctions over Crimea and Ukraine.
Wistleblower Edward Snowden is winner of this year’s recognized Bjørnson Award, but Norwegian authorities are unlikely to guarantee his safe travel to the award ceremony. The former CIA employee should instead be handed over the award in Pechenga, the Russian borderlands to Norway, a Norwegian university lecturer suggests.