Let the sunshine in: May weather breaks Denmark records

Endless rays of glorious sunshine have resulted in a number of new Danish weather records as May draws to a close.

Let the sunshine in: May weather breaks Denmark records
Copenhagen on May 30th, 2018. Photo: Bax Lindhardt/Ritzau Scanpix

May 2018 will be the month with the most sunshine in the Scandinavian country since 1920, when the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) began recording sunshine hours.

The standing record of 347 hours of sunshine from May 2008 was broken on Wednesday evening.

That means that May has seen an average of 11.5 hours of sunshine daily.

“It is incredible that we have had such high pressure-influenced weather for such a long time,” DMI climatologist Mikael Scharling said.

“We have had high pressure-dominated weather ever since the start of May. That has given us all these sunshine hours and high temperatures,” Scharling added.

The fifth month of the year also produced the second and third all-time sunniest months in Denmark, in 2008 and 1947.

DMI measures sunshine hours from 28 data locations across the country.

A ‘sunshine hour’ is defined as being between completely cloud-free or with 80 percent of the sun’s rays breaking through the clouds.

The sunshine record is not the only one to be broken by this month’s exceptional weather. A temperature record for May was also set earlier in the month.

DMI also expects the average temperature for the month to finish above 15 degrees Celsius.

The record average temperature for a May month is far lower at 13.8°C and dates all the way back to 1889.

“[The average temperature statistic] is a more significant record. It is a large jump, and we can surely say we’d never have got that high in 1889. Global warming is a factor in this record,” Scharling said.

READ MORE: Weather news from Denmark


How much will it snow in Denmark this weekend?

Winter weather arrived in spectacular fashion to coincide with the beginning of December this week. The weekend could bring more snow to parts of the country but probably less disruption than recent days.

Parts of Denmark have seen heavy snow in early December.
Parts of Denmark have seen heavy snow in early December. Photo: Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

Recent snowstorms disrupted North Jutland in particular and Denmark in general, and more cold weather can be expected this weekend albeit severe, according to forecasts.

“We won’t see the Ragnarok-like weather we’ve seen in some places recently again this weekend, but it’s now winter weather and it has also snowed in several places overnight,” said meteorologist Frank Nielsen of the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI).

READ ALSO: IN PICTURES: Early December blizzards disrupt Denmark

Cold weather on Friday and a low front across the North Sea will bring clouds and precipitation across Denmark from the west, Nielsen said.

That will materialise as cold rain or sleet in many areas but probably snow in North Jutland, he said.

“There could be between five and ten centimetres of snow north of the Limfjord,” the meteorologist said, referring to the waterway that cuts across the northern part of Jutland, including main regional city Aalborg.

“In the southern part of the country, an equivalent five to ten centimetres of rain could fall,” he added.

Friday’s temperature will be between freezing point and five degrees Celsius, with the north of the country falling in to the lower end of that range and the south the warmer end.

Mist and fog is forecast this evening, caused by various weather fronts moving over Denmark.

That could still be felt on Saturday morning, though it is likely to be a little warmer at 2-6 degrees Celsius. Mild winds could make that fell chiller, but snow is unlikely.

Sunday will see the temperature drop again, to 0-4 degrees Celsisu. Snow is possible, particularly on eastern coasts.

Strong winds in the east of the country and along the coasts will result in a “rather cold 24 hours,” Nielsen said.

Nighttime temperatures are expected to drop below zero throughout the weekend. Motorists are therefore warned to be alert to icy road surfaces.