OSLO, Norway – Thousands of troops are braving cold weather and training on the land, air and sea around Norway as part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s biennial Cold Response exercise that is meant to shore up defenses of member nations.
NATO says around 30,000 troops from 27 nations, including the U.S., are taking part in the exercise that is expected to run through April 1.
Defense officials said the exercise will test the cooperation of military forces in an Arctic environment with rugged terrain and extreme weather.
Because the country runs more than 1,100 miles from the North Sea to the Arctic Circle, meteorologists say the weather can vary significantly between the southern coast and frigid north.
Forecast models show only a few storm systems impacting the country over the next several weeks, with a combination of rain, snow and winds.
The yearly mean temperature varies greatly depending on the elevation and latitude.
While the country is on the same continent as Ukraine, temperatures tend to be much colder for the Baltic region.
Data from the University of East Anglia shows average yearly mean temperatures vary from 23 °F in some of the northern and mountainous terrains to around 48 °F in warmer climates.