Photo: A dusting of autumn snow covers the summit of Blåtind, Vestvågøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. October 5, 2023. 11:20
A gusty north wind has brought a chill to Lofoten over the last days, and with it, the first mountain snows of the season. And the temperature will continue to drop over the weekend, bringing the snow line down to 200 meters or so – while it is currently at around 400m. Already driving around the last days snow and slush has been falling along the roads as well, with the temperature dropping to 2-3 ˚c at times. If I can manage to find a long enough gap between the snow showers it will be time to put on the winter tires in the next days.
I just finished my only autumn photo workshop this season. And it was a tough one weather wise – it seems like it has rained every days since the beginning of September! But with the shifting of the winds to the rainy and low clouds from the southwest, the more dynamic snow showers from the north at least brought interesting conditions – and some occasional 20+ m/s wind gusts. Today the wind has calmed, before more gales arrive in the next days. So the fairly typical and quickly changing autumn weather on Lofoten.
It is days like these where the mountains fade in and out of the clouds and the light moves quickly. One moment you can be in sideways snow and sleet, while in the next the warm sun is shining brightly overhead. Looking at the radar, it is usually pretty straightforward to see how much time you’ll spend in the snow before the clouds pass and you’re under (somewhat) blue sky again.
This image is from just after the passing of a 10-15 minute snow shower while on the old road above Unstad. I was mostly shooting the more interesting composition of the clearing clouds over the summit of Øst-Himmeltind, but once all the clouds had cleared, I put on my 100-400mm lens to shoot the view south across Vestvågøy to the distant peak of Blåtind, with a fresh dusting of snow. Looking at the northern side of the peak, it is easy to see exactly where the snow line sits across the mountain.
Head over to my Instagram account for (almost) daily postings of the local conditions here on Lofoten: @distant.north
Nikon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6