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Christmas Day: snow, wind and traffic jams

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10:34 CET+01:00
Swedes woke up to heavy snowfall, freezing rain and strong winds on Christmas Day, with traffic disruptions expected across the country.

The SMHI weather service issued a Class 1 warning for the South and the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) warned of dangerous road conditions around the country.

In Kvikkjokk in the far north temperatures plunged to minus 38.5 degrees Celsius the night between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. That is he coldest temperature measured in Sweden so far this winter.

The freezing weather is causing trouble for travellers in the north. National rail operator SJ cancelled two trains on the Kiruna-Luleå-Narvik route on Christmas Day because of the cold.

However, the 280 train passengers who were were stranded in Luleå on Christmas Eve and had to spend the night in a hotel could continue their journeys early on Christmas Day.

"We're going with double engines so we have backup," said SJ spokesman Anders Edgren.

SJ cancels trains when temperatures reach below minus 35 in order to avoid the risk of trains being left stationary on the lines.

On Christmas Day the E10 highway between Björkliden in Lappland and Narvik in Norway was shut down because of the weather. There are no alternative routes.

"The Norwegians closed their part so there's no point keeping the Swedish side open. It would just be like a dead-end street," said Peter Behrman, a Transport Administration spokesman.

According to SMHI meteorologist Emil Björck it will get milder in the far north during the day. Temperatures will range from minus 20 to minus 35 degrees Celsius.

"Right now we have snowfall from the Väner area up to Värmland, from Dalarna to Stockholm," said Björck on Tuesday morning.

In the southern region of Östergötland, the snow had turned into sleet and rain on Christmas Day with similar weather expected in the south east by the afternoon.

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On Tuesday morning, buses were called in to replace trains from Arboga in central Sweden to Eskilstuna in the south east after an electric line was torn down.

The harsh winds in the south will subside by the afternoon but more snow is expected overnight between Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

TT/The Local/nr Follow The Local on Twitter

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