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Nordic hydrology; no surprise during Christmas period

Eylert Ellefsen
Archived blog post. This blog post has been transferred from our previous blogging platform. Links and images may not work as intended.

EQ expects the hydropower situation in the Nord Pool areas to be rather stable during the Christmas period, with moderate precipitation levels, slightly declining hydrological balance and rather mild temperatures.

Key points

  1. The weather outlook for the Nordic region shows a rather mild start to week 51 before temperatures drop towards normal levels at the end of the month (see charts).
  2. For the total Nord Pool area, Montel-EQ forecasts 74% of normal precipitation over the next 14 days – or 58% of normal in Norway, 89 % in Sweden and 137% in Finland.
  3. Inflows have declined rather strongly during week 50 and will decline further until the end of Christmas week, according to our forecasts.
  4. This means that the hydropower situation will be rather stable during the Christmas period, with moderate precipitation levels, slightly declining hydrological balance and rather mild temperatures.

Background

The Nordic hydrological balance dropped to nearly 8 TWh below normal in November, combined with lower than normal temperatures. By mid-November, we saw lower inflows than normal and declining reservoir levels, while the snow-and-ground level remained close to normal in the Nordic Region as a whole. One difference in the hydrological situation between the Nordic price areas stood out: low reservoir levels in NO2 and NO4, where the multi-year reservoirs still haven’t entirely normalised after the dry summer in 2018.

The dry weather pattern changed during the first week of December (week 49). By the end of week 50, we saw snow/groundwater level at 4.3 TWh higher than normal, while Nordic water reservoir levels were 7.4 TWh lower than normal. This means the estimated hydrological balance at the end of week 50 was 2.1 TWh lower than normal.

The charts is in weekly resolution. You may see the updated charts, drill down to countries or price areas, and also shift to daily resolution here:

Reservoir filling in TWh and percentage

If we look into the details of the hydropower situation for the Nordic countries, we see from the table below that the water reservoir deficit in Norway differs very clearly from the situation in Sweden and Finland.

The water reservoirs in price areas NO2 and NO4 contribute strongly to this situation as their multi-year reservoirs have not been normalised after the dry summer 2018. If we look at the snow coverage across the Nordic region, we see that there is a surplus compared to normal through the entire area right now.

Hydrological balance (TWh) across the Nordic Region – end week 50
Precipitation and inflow until New Year

Closing words

The Montel-EQ team provides you with updated hydrological analysis throughout the Christmas period, preparing you for the start of the New Year.

If you have any questions regarding the Nordic hydropower situation, please send me an email at eylert@energyquantified.com.

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