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Mild Scandinavian Winter Stirs Bears and Buds Flowers January 17, 2014
Satellite Image
Finnish bears were looking for dry spots to bed down again and will not start seeking food until the spring.
The bulge of warm air over Northern Europe, pushed up by the Arctic vortex on the other side of the Atlantic, has caused bears to emerge early from hibernation in Finland and plants to bud earlier than normal in Norway.

While North Americans have shivered in the coldest weather in decades, Nordic residents have experienced one of the mildest winters in a century.

The Norwegian newspaper Sunnmørsposten published reader photographs of daffodils emerging as early as mid-December, along with crocuses, daisies, dandelions and honeysuckle.

“It was very unusual to see no snow in large areas where it is normal in December,” said Ketil Isaksen, a scientist at the Norwegian Meteorological Institute.

“Only in the mountains and certain parts of Norway could you find snow.” Heavy rainfall, instead of snow, is believed to have flooded bear dens, forcing the animals out of hibernation.

Photo: File