With the stiff competition from Arctic Organist – there you’ll find the “countdown to the midnight sun” – and coming to you further South, Yorkshire Viking Norway cannot hope to beat Arctic Organist on being first. The Arctic Organist will have the midnight sun three days before we do.
So Yorkshire Viking Norway is going new ways to be first! We will now tell you that from today there is no more night. This deserves some qualification, since the last twilight you can see tends to disappear at about quarter to nine (this of course will soon be a quarter to ten when we adjust the clocks tonight). However, scientifically speaking the darkest time of our day is no longer night. That is because the sun is never lower than 18° below the horizon. This means that astronomical twilight never ends.
For those of you who are scratching your heads, there are three types of twilight. The first is what you get immediately after the sun has set, or just before it rises. This is defined as being the time when the sun is below the horizon, but no lower than 6°. This is called civil twilight. In this time, it is usually possible to continue outdoor activities without the aid of artificial light. Then you have the second type of twilight, which is called nautical twilight, when the sun is somewhere between 6° and 12° below. This type of twilight is what I call the “blue”-type, and in this you do need the aid of artificial light to continue doing things outdoors. Lastly there is the twilight when the sun is lower than 12° but no lower that 18°. The sun’s illumination is almost imperceptible, and unless conditions are optimal you won’t see it at all. Even if you do, it will be no more than a very faint trace on the horizon.
So there really wasn’t so much to make then of today’s great happening – other than beating Arctic Organist to the goal. The next landmark in our Arctic year will be on the 13th April. From then on nautical twilight never ends, so perhaps that is the point at which you would notice that it never really gets dark any more (weather can of course still alter this). Finally, before Arctic Organist beats us by three days in getting the midnight sun on the 21st May, from the 2nd May there is nothing more than civil twilight. That is to say that, in practice, it is by then light all day even if it is cloudy as well.
In Lødingen, the midnight sun will be visible from the 24th May. Tonight, as pointed out above, we move the clocks an hour ahead for summer time. Remember to change yours before you go to bed!
Being something of a pedant, I had to grin a little when Jon Blamire reported Summer temperatures on his balcony. When I was a boy, meteorology was my hobby – indeed I got teased as “the professor” because of it. I am therefore very strict about my weather data, and if the thermometer is in the sunlight then that invalidates the result for my part.
Nevertheless, the weather really has become so hot. So hot, indeed, that I must now take my new KIA car to the garage as soon as possible. Today the unusually high temperatures seem to have triggered a fault. The motor began to “kick”, and once I had stopped the car to look at the owner’s manual I read that the air conditioning in extreme conditions can overheat the motor – with the exact symptoms I was experiencing. After allowing my vehicle to cool down, I experienced no further motor problems, but the air conditioning has now completely ceased to function!
That is a nuisance because it really “ain’t half hot”! Indeed whatever my colleague writes about this current heatwave, for once I must confirm the veracity of it. I have never known it so hot in Norway. The meteorologists tell us that May was the warmest on record. I concur.
While the fault on my car was forcing me to take a little driving break, I did have my camera with me. So I decided to put the time to good use snapping some pictures from the location I otherwise should have driven right past.
In most places, the temperature was a little under 30º, averaging between 27º and 28º – but as low as 26º on the coast. Yet there were “hot spots”, and when the temperature showed 30º (well, that only happened once), I just had to stop the car and photograph the reading!
All of these problems made me almost quite forget why I had driven to Sortland in the first place. A week ago, I had bought some fresh fish, and liked it so much that I had decided to buy some more. It is a type of fish that I had never eaten before called Arctic char. A member of the salmon family, it is really delicious.
First thing Monday morning I shall have to ring the garage for repairs to my car. I’m just glad it’s under guarantee!
or Beat that Arctic Organist!
More details to follow!