celamity: (sunset)
2012-04-06 10:21 am
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Easter snow

It has snowed 50 cm over the past three days, bringing our total up to this:

celamity: (sunset)
2012-01-25 07:36 am
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Aurora galore

Last night (and sunday night) would have been a nice time to own a proper camera. Practically the entire sky was glowing with milky green aurora, forming large ripples and twists that spanned the horizon from northeast to southwest. Some of it was almost bright enough to pick up with my paltry little point-and-click camera :)

(Better equipped people than myself have posted pictures at http://www.spaceweather.com)

Also, the sun returned to us last weekend :)
celamity: (sunset)
2011-10-01 08:15 am
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I guess it didn't rain all the time

Thanks to a coronal mass ejection, there was a lot of aurora this week. Unfortunately, it coincided with cloudy and rainy nights.

However, it seems the clouds did break up a little on tuesday night, and this guy was ready for it.

(One of his pictures from the storm is currently NASA's Astronomy picture of the day)
celamity: (sunset)
2011-09-03 12:09 pm
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Arctic-alpine botanical garden

For six years, I have lived in the town with the world's northernmost botanical garden, which has collections of plants from arctic and alpine climates around the world, as well as a rhododendron garden and a collection of plants that have been used in people's gardens in Northern Norway.

Yesterday, I visited it for the first time.

Flowers! And a magpie, surveying its domain. )

(More photos at Flickr, 14 altogether)

One of the main features at this time of year was a collection of gentians in full bloom, but it seems I didn't get any pictures of them that I was satisfied with.

To my amusement, they did have a Persian hogweed (or tromsø palm, as it is known here) in the gardens, near the Russian section. Its flower crowns were cut off, certainly as a precaution: if the seeds were allowed to develop and spread, there'd soon be nothing else in the garden. They were imported over a hundred years ago by people who wanted them in their gardens, and are now the best known and most persistent local noxious weed.

There was construction work going on in one corner, where it seems they're planning on adding a collection of plants from South America, next to the African collection.

Having seen how the place looks now, at the end of the growing season, I am already looking forward to seeing it in spring and summer next year :)
celamity: (sunset)
2011-07-10 08:25 am
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A day of true summer

Yesterday was the third warmest day on record up here, reaching 28C at the meteorology institute and breaking 30C several places :) (Unfortunately one of those places was the store I work in, which is where I spent half the day yesterday. I went to work in jeans, but after three hours I felt compelled to go buy a skirt to wear instead)

It's not that I mind the usual summer weather - anything above 15C is nice, and 20C is great - but walking around yesterday without feeling any desire for long sleeves, seeing the heat haze on the horizon (even the growing rainclouds), being able to stand barefoot outside our door and feel warmth radiate from the concrete under my feet...

It was awesome.
celamity: (sunset)
2010-08-26 07:11 am
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Autumn sunshine

Autumn started at least a week ago. It's been cool but sunny these past few days, which makes a nice change from slightly less cool but rainy, which is what we pretty much had all 'summer'. The sky looks like autumn, and the leaves are turning. I like autumn up here, so I'm fine with that.

Blueberry season's been ruined by the weather, though, just like a number of agricultural harvests. We went uphill last weekend to look for berries and found at least half were rotting on the plants.
celamity: (sunset)
2010-08-19 07:00 am
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Swim season? Not unless you're an ice bather

I looked at the weather report yesterday and saw an article claiming the north (aka here) would get the best weather this week. It started out: 'Your vacation's over? Don't stow away your swimwear, at least not if you live in the north' and continued to claim we'd get nice weather this week.

Thing is, this summer never really attained 'summer' status, much less 'swimming' weather. We had two whole days that managed to breach 20 C.

It is 6 C outside right now, it's windy and rainy, and it snowed on the mountains two days ago, but at least I am amused :)
celamity: (sunset)
2010-05-15 07:29 am
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It's a really beautiful morning today. The sun is playing with the clouds (which I expect to dissolve before long), the air smells fresh, and it's mild.

We're expected to get a very nice warm weekend, with this place having some of the nicest and warmest weather in the country on May 17th. This, of course, made it extra amusing to read the national newspapers yesterday, as they lamented that the May 17th forecast was cold and wet weather :)

(We'll get a taste of both, as take 2 on this year's vacation starts the afternoon of May 17th. We'll spend a night in Oslo before continuing onwards, and hopefully it'll go better than last Monday did.)
celamity: (sunset)
2010-03-13 09:21 am
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Spring is Relative

There was a blurb in the national newspaper the other day about how 'yes, spring should be just around the corner, but...' and I thought to myself, 'Spring? But the snow's just started to get down to business.' I took it as a sign that I've started to acclimatize to this place (which has two winters: dark winter in november-january followed by snow winter in february-april/may, as opposed to where I am from where yes, spring and flowers usually starts in march)

One nice thing about living here at this time of year, even with my lack of fondness for snow, is that when I leave work in the afternoon, every day is just tangibly brighter than the day before. Over the past weeks, it's gone from night to dark twilight to brighter twilight to sunset colours. I'll lose the effect around the time daylight savings start, because by the the sun will still be up when I leave work, and I'll be missing the process until autumn, when the reverse pattern happens (there's less snow then, though).
celamity: (sunset)
2010-02-19 06:10 pm
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Geography matters

Today, I learned why the national newspapers and some major weather websites have a tendency to consistently predict temperatures well below what we actually get here in their forecasts for the week ahead.

It's because they get their data from England, which is based on temperatures in a 25 km grid of points.

The closest point to this town is about 20 km inland, in an area known to be a cold sink :)

(On monday, the forecast suggested around -20C here this weekend, 2C below the historical record of -18C. Instead, we're hovering around -10C.)
celamity: (sunset)
2010-01-26 12:21 pm
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Stormy weather

We're getting hit by a winter storm significant enough to get a name (Ask) today.

Weather statistics of impending DOOM

This morning, when I looked out the window, there was a gap in the lower cloud layer near the highest mountain. The gap remained there for at least two more hours while the clouds rolled around it.

I'm a little worried that I might not get home tonight, as they'll close the bridge if it gets too windy, but I do intend to try to leave relatively early, as the wind is expeected to peak around 6 pm.

A definite sign that Something Is Up: The wind gauge on this side of the bridge has been showing 0 m/s the past few weeks. This morning, they had a crew out to repair it (the other gauge showed 13 m/s at the time. If it gets much higher, signals on the gauges start blinking to alert people, and I suspect that they'll also be used to alert people should the bridge have to be closed. In other words, they are very nice things to have operational today :)
celamity: (sunset)
2010-01-23 10:55 am
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It's back!

There's sunlight playing on the wall in my kitchen as I type :)
celamity: (sunset)
2009-12-20 07:45 am
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Not entirely absent after all

Astronomy picture of the day, dec 19 2009

I live on the island where this picture was taken, but I haven't seen anything like this in quite a while. It must have happened while I wasn't looking :)

(But it is very nice to see that the skies dressed up for my husband's birthday :) )
celamity: (river)
2009-12-09 05:48 pm
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Shiny AND mysterious!

Apparently, I did not see aurora this morning.

Apparently, if I had peeked out the window five minutes earlier, I wouldn't have seen just a bluish green glow, but also a rapidly moving and expanding pinwheel of light.

As demonstrated here

The prevailing theory seems to be a Russian rocket of some sort, but they deny any such thing, and its current status is that of an UFO (literally speaking, that is :) )
celamity: (sunset)
2009-12-09 07:56 am
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It's my fourth winter here, and I'm finally seeing some differently-coloured aurora. It's 8 am, and there's a beaconlike patch of bright bluish green on the horizon in the northeast :)
celamity: (sunset)
2009-11-14 08:50 am
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We've had stable, cold weather with clear skies, no wind, and temperatures just below freezing for the past five days or so. As a result, the frost on the ground has built to the point where it looks like snow, and I saw the vehicles they use at the airport to remove snow from the runway out in force yesterday. In undisturbed places, the frost forms some rather large feathers. It's nice :)

Sun says goodbye for the winter in ten days or so, so I'm doing my best to enjoy it while it lasts.
celamity: (sunset)
2009-10-30 07:15 am
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Northern Lights

Last night, around midnight, the skies cleared up and then broke out the aurora for me. It was the best batch I've seen in a while, with a lot of green twists and ripples across the entire sky, and the part that changed the most in brightness and shape was just overhead. A gibbous moon hanging just above the mountains to the southwest completed the picture :)