An unusually intense thunderstorm broke out across Norwayâ€™s capital, Oslo, during Saturday afternoon, causing widespread havoc.
Torrential downpours gave rise to flash flooding which paralysed traffic on roads in and out of the capital and inundated the basements of dozens of buildings. The storm produced frequent lightning during its peak and caused power outages to thousands of homes in Oslo and Baerum. Lightning also interfered with telephone and TV signals.
Strong and gusty winds developed during the thunderstorm reaching 60mph (97km/h) in places. Trees were uprooted and there were reports of downed power lines. All train transportation was suspended through Oslo Central station due to power failure, after a large tree fell onto the line. Miraculously, there have been no reports of injuries.
Much of northern Europe has been basking in very warm weather as high pressure has been firmly in charge. Southern parts of Scandinavia have seen temperatures well above the seasonal average of 20 Celsius (68F), with Oslo seeing highs of 28C (82F) over the last few days. Yesterdayâ€™s thunderstorm occurred along a cold front which slowly moved down across Norway from the north. This introduced cooler air which collided with the warmth across the south, sparking off the heavy storm.
Temperatures have now fallen below average across much of Norway with some outbreaks of rain expected, but nothing as heavy as yesterday. Temperatures are expected to recover to around normal, with some sunshine forecast for the coming week.