Class 3 warning issued as storms lash Sweden
Published: 27 Nov 2011 07:28 GMT+01:00
Updated: 27 Nov 2011 07:28 GMT+01:00
With parts of southern Sweden still reeling from the damage caused by the storm dubbed Berit, residents have been warned that even worse weather is on its way and have been warned not to go out unless it is absolutely necessary.
With gales causing havoc in many parts of the country on Saturday, Sweden’s Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, SMHI, issued a Class 2 warning across counties Skåne, Halland, Gothenburg and Bohuslän, during the morning.
By the afternoon, however, the institute upped the warning to class 3 for Skåne and Halland, predicting gale force winds of up to 30 metres per second for the two southern counties.
Western Sweden will fare little better, with a predicted wind speed of 25 metres per second.
“It could be as strong as Gudrun,” SMHI meteorlogist Ibrahim Almausawe told Aftonbladet, referring to a storm from 2005 still very much alive in Sweden's memory due to the damage it caused.
A Class 3 warning means that a storm is so powerful that it can be dangerous to be outside.
The SMHI warning mainly concerns the south of Sweden, but it will also be windy in Svealand, Norrland and the southern Stockholm area, bringing heavy rain, while there could be heavy snowfalls in much of Northern Sweden in the coming days.
“It may be best to stay at home. There could be a lot of traffic disruption and falling trees,” said Almausawe.
Norwegian meteorologists confirmed on Sunday that Berit, which is the most powerful storm to hit the country in a decade, has already moved into Sweden, hitting the northern Swedish mountains with heavy snow and strong winds through the night on Saturday.
Hemavan for example experienced gales of up to 35 meters per second during the night and much more snow is expected across the region in the coming days.
According to reports from southern Sweden, by Sundy afternoon there were severe delays in train traffic and drivers are also experiencing trouble on the E6 motorway.
Traffic on the Öresund bridge, connecting Sweden and Demark, has been put under restrictions, as winds of 19 metres per second have been measured in the area.
Falling trees have also caused many households in southern Sweden to go without electricity, and despite that the main provider Fortum is working to restore all power, there may well be disturbances for as long as the harsh weather continues, according to the company.