[Vision2020] Roses Bloom Again, Arctic Circle Snow Latest in 100 Yrs: Sweden's Average 2011 Nov. Temp. 12.6 F. Above Average.

Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Fri Nov 25 15:08:50 PST 2011

Snowless Scandinavians wonder 'where's winter?' LOUISE NORDSTROM,
Associated Press Updated 10:37 a.m., Thursday, November 24, 2011

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STOCKHOLM (AP) — For some reason, Scandinavia is not its frigid self, with
unusually warm weather delaying the onset of winter in northern latitudes
normally decked in white.

The lack of snow has been bad news for winter sports — World Cup ski races
have been dropped, or held on artificial snow, and mountain ski resorts are
unable to open.

There are even reports of bird song and blooming gardens in some places
typically entering the winter freeze at this time of year.

"Some flowers, like roses, have actually begun to blossom for a second
time," said Mats
a biologist in Orebro, south-central Sweden.

Weather experts say this fall is on track to become one of the warmest on
record in the northern part of Scandinavia, where the start of winter has
been delayed by more than a month in certain locations.

In the Finnish town of Sodankyla, 80 miles (130 kilometers) north of the
Arctic Circle, snow cover started Nov. 17, the latest date in 100 years,
said Pauli Jokinen<http://www.seattlepi.com/?controllerName=search&action=search&channel=news&search=1&inlineLink=1&query=%22Pauli+Jokinen%22>,
spokesman at the Finnish Meteorological

Animals — such as stoats, hares and willow grouse — that change color with
the season turned white weeks before the snows came, bringing an eerie
feeling to the snowless wilds of Lapland.

"It was really very weird — ghost-like white figures darting among the
yellow leaves and lichen," said Viljo
mayor of the town of 9,000.

"They don't go by the weather conditions, time determines when they turn
white. It has also made the place much darker as there has been no snow to
lighten the shortening days," he said, adding that heavy rain during the
day had already cleared fields of snow.

Earlier this month, World Cup Alpine skiing races were moved from Levi,
Finland, to Austria because of the lack of snow.

Cross-country World Cup races in Norway last weekend had to be moved from
barren ground in Beitostoelen to Sjusjoen, where at least it was cold
enough for artificial snow to stick.

Ski lifts remain idle in Are, Sweden's biggest ski resort, which normally
opens in the first half of November.

"But there is some snow at the very top, and so you have to throw the skis
over the shoulder and make the 4-mile (6 kilometer) walk up there if you
want to ski," said Benny
a spokesman for Are's tourist office.

According to Sweden's meteorological office SMHI, the average temperature
measured for November so far is 12.6 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius)
above average.

For example, the residents of Kiruna city, northern Sweden, had do deal
with temperatures of 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius) on Thursday
night, much warmer than they are accustomed to.


Matti Huuhtanen in Helsinki contributed to this report.

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Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett
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