Is the extreme snow depth record for Nordland, Norway reliable?

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A snow depth of 370 cm at Dunderlandsdalen in winter 1919–20 is the largest recorded at stations in Nordland, Norway. During the period 1895–1924, the average maximum annual value there was 150.4 cm; at other stations it ranged from 38.5 to 190.1 cm. The ratio of maxima at other stations to that at Dunderlandsdalen was particularly low in 1919–20. In Nordland generally, that winter's recorded precipitation was slightly above the 30-year average, but at Dunderlandsdalen it exceeded the average by 34%. At all stations except Dunderlandsdalen, 26 Jan.–1 Feb. was a dry period; at Dunderlandsdalen, 51.7 mm was recorded. Only one day without snowfall was recorded at Dunderlandsdalen between early January and early February, but elsewhere there were few days with snowfall. The difference in snowfall frequency and snow depth at Dunderlandsdalen in 1919–20 from values recorded elsewhere in Nordland contrasts with the relationships in other winters between 1895 and 1924. No observations were made at Dunderlandsdalen in winter 1917–18. Two of the householders there died in 1916. A change of personnel making the observations may have been responsible for the data gap and for the anomalous 1919 data. Changes made to buildings or the recording site in 1917 or 1918 may have resulted in increased snow depths as a result of drifting. Maintaining a record of climatic extremes and their environmental consequences is important. Data must be accurate. In view of this, it would be sensible to regard the validity of the 370 cm Dunderlandsdalen maximum as doubtful.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-323
Number of pages11
JournalGeografiska Annaler. Series A
Issue number4
Early online date4 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2016


  • snow cover
  • climate change
  • extreme events
  • Nordland


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