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Old Dec 15, 11, 7:09 pm   #1
 
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Question about snow in Tromso

Hi everyone! I've been doing research about Norway because I've fallen in love with the country just from pics and commentary, and was hoping to vacation there this coming new year, and possibly even move there permanently. But I'm having trouble getting accurate info on the weather, especially in Tromso, which interests me the most (more so than Oslo, Bergen, etc).

From what I'm reading at all the various sites online, it sounds like Tromso, in December, gets a lot of rain instead of snow? I was hoping for a very snowy area with a great chance of a white Christmas. But all the various weather sites show just a couple inches of snow at most at any time in Tromso (average of under an inch falling on any given day). So what is the winter REALLY like in Tromso? I was hoping to hear it's very snowy and that in say mid-late December there's a good foot of snow on the ground, but somehow it doesn't sound that way.

Also, the polar lights - how often do they REALLY appear in the skies in Tromso? I'm hearing lots of contradictory info from rarely ever to constantly. Thanks in advance for any advice!
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Old Dec 16, 11, 11:22 am   #2
 
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Hi Norway Fan. Tromso is definitely getting some snow right now in December. It isn't huge amounts but definitely snow. And quite cold - rarely above freezing. You should be aware that right now Tromso gets 0 hours of sunlight during the day. (The up side of this is that you get almost no darkness during the height of summer.)

A friend of mine was just up in this area and she saw the polar lights every day (again, because it is dark 24 hours a day you get to see them even at 11 a.m.) But it is, like the weather, variable. There are times where they aren't visible at all.

I hope this helps.
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Old Dec 16, 11, 5:52 pm   #3
 
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Hi Gabrielle!

Yes, I know about the polar night and the midnight sun. Looking forward to that actually. But again, I'm trying to find out how much snow accumulates at one time. So for example, towards Christmas, is there a foot of snow piled up on the ground, or is it always just a dusting that melts the next day with rain? I keep looking at the weather reports coming out of Tromso, and it looks like the coming days will be in the upper 30's and low 40's. I haven't seen much on the weather sites showing below freezing, so I'm wondering where in Tromso you are right now. Do different areas get different temps?
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Old Dec 16, 11, 11:22 pm   #4
 
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The snow accumulates. The amount of snow there would be varies from year to year though.

Yes, different areas get different temps, even within Troms. The closer you are to the coast the higher the chance that the temps will be mild and the snow less reliable because of the Gulf Stream. You can also risk that you would not be above the cloud deck (if raining or snowing) to be able to see the Polar lights. Inland tends to be colder and clearer.

I would recommend checking the site met.no, which is the norwegian weather service's website.
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Old Dec 17, 11, 9:23 am   #5
 
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Perhaps this will help. http://www.itromso.no/

There are webcams around different areas further down on the page on the right side. Not lots of snow but definitely white.
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Old Feb 10, 12, 3:10 am   #6
 
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I've been trying to keep up with the weather in Tromso lately, but I've been so busy it's been hard. Seems to me (from what I can see...hard to find good info online) that Tromso has had a very mild January and February so far as snow is concerned.

Is there a site that gives clear data about snowfall? I'm having a hard time finding one. I'm curious if this is a warmer than normal, less snowy winter for Tromso than normal.
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Old Feb 10, 12, 4:21 am   #7
 
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Since Tromso is a coastal city, you will seldom see pileups of snow, and as you say, it is rather mild when it comes to snowfall.
I found this page with a chart of average snowfall over the past 30 years (1981-2011).
http://www.tromso.kommune.no/snoe.4547033.html
All text is in Norwegian, but I am sure you could run it through Google Translate if you want a general understanding.

Otherwise, the Norwegian Metereological Institute has a good webpage in English, www.yr.no, with in depth weather information.

Hope this helps!
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Old Feb 10, 12, 4:23 pm   #8
 
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Great thread. I am also looking at visiting Scandinavia but not until next summer. One of my goals is to head north of the Arctic Circle which Tromso will do nicely.

We will be based out of Copenhagen and I'm intrigued about driving. Any thoughts? Are flights reasonable in your opinion?

Thanks
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Old Feb 10, 12, 5:55 pm   #9
 
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Endesu, this is a perfect example of the problems I'm having researching weather there. You wrote that snow doesn't accumulate much there, while on the other hand, someone on the Visit Tromso site is saying Tromso is known as a "snow hole" and gets tons of snow. Supposedly there were 8 inches (20cm+) for Christmas time. I've tried looking at the webcams but half the time they don't work. It's really hard to get an accurate picture of the weather there.

I'm hoping it's not a situation where it snows a few inches then the rain washes it away, then it snows a few inches, then the rain washes it away, etc.

I'm curious, do you live there, or have you lived there awhile? I'm really interested in getting first hand reports about how the weather is. I figured living there awhile, that would be the experience needed to give me a better pic of how things work there.

Last edited by NorwayFan; Feb 10, 12 at 5:57 pm. Reason: Forgot to ask something
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Old Mar 24, 12, 1:34 am   #10
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I love Norway too ! Even when it rains for 2 weeks straight in Bergen, I love it there... now there is sunshine in Oslo (where I am) for the weekend !
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Old Mar 25, 12, 6:07 am   #11
 
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I have lived in Tromsø for 12 years ( now Trondheim ) , and there's true that it is a lot of snow there. The problem is that it isn't certain that it is lots of snow all the time. E.g in 1997/97 there was no snow until december, but Then it poured down,and it ended up with 250 centimeters ( record that still stands)
If you want a great link - check out this one ;

http://weather.cs.uit.no/

The camera is at the university,and you can search weather for and given day since july 2002. Click on Time Lapse Video at the bottom.
Tromsø is a great city to visit, and it is also the "gateway to the arctic". Svalbard is 1 1/2 hours away with plane, and THAT is a destination I really recommend.
Hope this was helpful
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Old Mar 25, 12, 3:03 pm   #12
 
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Snow along the coast is very unpredictable.

A rccomendation from me would be to rent a cabin near Bardufoss. About two hours drive from Tromsø towards inland. There it will be a lot of snow, and hellla cold!

But very nice place
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Old Dec 11, 12, 11:27 pm   #13
 
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Hey folks! Long time, no see. Got a question for those of you in Tromso. It seems (from what I can tell) that there's been virtually no snow so far this December in Tromso. Is that right?

Also, I'm still confused about how often there is snow accumulated on the ground and how much tends to accumulate at one time. Every weather site I check says there is almost no snow ever accumulated in Tromso, but the webcam shows otherwise.

Can anyone give me a clear and accurate description of winter in Tromso, with an emphasis on how the snow works? Thanks!
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Old Dec 13, 12, 1:37 am   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorwayFan View Post
Can anyone give me a clear and accurate description of winter in Tromso, with an emphasis on how the snow works? Thanks!
I'm afraid this is a "how long is a piece of string" question, there is no clear answer. Tromsø is on the coast so snow can be variable. It's much more reliable inland.

This site http://senorge.no/ will give you not only current snow conditions for the whole of Norway but historical data back to 1959. Compare year on year by using the -1year button and you can quickly see how the conditions vary
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Old Dec 17, 12, 12:29 am   #15
 
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It's really hard to tell without being familiar with the area, where the snow tends to be heaviest. Is there a particular part of Tromso that gets more snow? If I understand that site correctly, the island of Tromso gets less than the mainland to the east?
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