Sweden struck by massive thunderstorm
Published: 22 Jul 2011 08:23 GMT+02:00
Updated: 22 Jul 2011 08:23 GMT+02:00
Swedish skies were lit up by close to 40,000 lightning strikes and parts of the country suffered major power outages when a massive thunderstorm traveled across the country between Thursday and Friday.
According to meteorologists at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) we can expect more of the same in the following hours.
“There could be twice as many before it is over, “ said Elin Torstensson at the SMHI,
The Baltic island of Gotland was hit the worst by the storm and just before midnight practically the whole island was without electricity.
The problem occurred when the station where power reaches Gotland from the mainland was struck by lightning.
“And then the whole of Gotland went black,” said engineer Ingrid Ahlqvist of power company GEAD to daily Dagens Nyheter (DN).
Power had returned to most Gotlanders by Friday morning.
“We started our reserve power and connected area after area from our control room,” said Anders Öberg, network manager at GEAB, to local paper Gotlands Nyheter.
Many automatic fire alarms went off as the storm passed over the island, putting a strain on emergency services.
However, no real fires were reported to have been caused by the storm.
SMHI recorded 37,000 strikes of lightning between 9pm on Thursday and 3am on Friday.
"That's a significant amount," said Bengt Lindström of SMHI to DN.
At 6am on Friday morning the storm has divided into two. One remained in the south over counties Skåne and Halland and the other was moving up towards the Stockholm area.
SMHI has issued a class 1 warning, which means there could be certain risks to the general public, in the area just south of Stockholm.
Another thunderstorm is expected over Gotland on Friday evening, and SMHI has issued a class 1 warning for that area as well.