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Extreme weather on the rise in Sweden: SMHI

Extreme weather on the rise in Sweden: SMHI

Published: 16 Aug 2011 07:18 GMT+02:00
Updated: 16 Aug 2011 07:18 GMT+02:00

Heavy rains and extreme weather are becoming more common in Sweden, according to a study by forecasters at the Swedish meteorological and Hydrological Institute, SMHI.

“We are still missing some data, but the trend is unmistakeable, extreme weather is becoming more common in Sweden,” said meteorologist Lennart Wern to daily Dagens Nyheter (DN).

Recent downpours and heavy rains over western Sweden is but one example of a trend showing more extreme weather according to the so far unpublished report by SMHI.

In a new report Wern has collated information about the rainiest 24 hours from the country’s all weather stations in a year and then builds a series of data that will span the whole of the twentieth century until present day.

“And for the Götaland region we see a definite rise. It is that part of the country where it is increasing the most,” Wern told DN.

The torrential rain that struck western Sweden on Monday and has left many households flooded is just the most recent example of a change in the weather, according to the report.

The rains have put a huge strain on emergency services in the area. Many roads have been blocked, local radio was hit by the weather and a large number of house owners saw their cellars flooded.

“This is a reflection of how climate change may affect us in the future,” said Lennart Olofsson of he County Council in Västra Götaland, to news agency TT.

The regional climate scenarios show how the average temperatures in the region will rise by five or six degrees by 2100.

The period will also see a lot more precipitation, a rise of about 20 percent, and an increase in heavy downpours, according to the report.

And meteorologists say that the low-pressure area, which is causing the current downpour, is moving in over Sweden today, not losing in force as it travels.

"There is still a lot of power in this low pressure area. Generally they die out as they travel, but that does not seem to be the case with this. It will keep going,” said Kjell Lund, meteorologist at SMHI to dally Aftonbladet.

The rains will continue over the course of Tuesday over the counties Jämtland, Härjedalen and parts of Dalarna.

“It looks there will be as heavy downfalls as we have seen in the Gothenburg area and the rain will continue most of Tuesday, “ said Lund to the paper.

SMHI has issued a class one warning for many areas of Sweden over Tuesday.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:05 August 16, 2011 by conboy
Honest to god I have never heard so much nonsense. I come from the South West of Ireland and what is regarded as a storm here is merely a windy day where I come from. The SMHI might be right that there is a pattern of "more" violent weather but we are not talking about a massive weather borne problem here, not by any means.
13:28 August 16, 2011 by Theresejoyce
@ conboy, I also come from Ireland and I am not sure if you are living in Gothenburg but the rain we had here was worse than anything I have seen at home. I have also lived in other countries with extreme weather and very rarely seen rain on this scale. I think that the SMHI need to pull up their socks and get working on better weather forecasting because I have found that other countries such as Denmark and Norway can predict the weather here better than the SMHI and thats just not right.
15:34 August 16, 2011 by karex
...and judging by the sudden massive appearance of those red berries (I have no idea what they're called), it looks like we might be headed for a hard winter season - third year in a row. That is, if my Swedish colleagues are correct and the more berries the harsher the winter...
22:17 August 16, 2011 by Smokebox
Yr.no seems to be the best site for Swedish weather....
00:21 August 17, 2011 by Smallnose
It's easy to bash SMHI, but they have to work with outdated equipment and dusty old algorithms dating back to Anders Celsius. Considering those facts they still do a good job, close to 50% accurate. The Norwegians just have more money to spend.
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