Southern Sweden braced for snowstorms

Wednesday afternoon and evening are expected to bring strong winds and heavy snowfalls to the south of Sweden. Forecasters say that the bad weather will cause chaos on the roads.

By lunchtime on Wednesday a good deal of snow had already covered the south and the Swedish Roads Agency warned on its web site that driving conditions were treacherous in many areas.

“It’s snowing all the way up the east coast, from Skåne up to the southern part of Norrland,” said Håkan Hultberg, meteorologist at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute at about 1pm.

But that’s nothing compared to what is expected, he said.

“There’s some nasty weather over Poland and Germany at the moment, but it’s on its way north.”

When it reaches Skåne on Wednesday evening it is expected to bring powerful winds.

“Combined with the snowfall it will create a lot of snow drifts, primarily on the plains and open areas,” said Hultberg.

The snowy weather will move across the whole of the Götaland and Svealand regions on Thursday. In Skåne the authorities are ready for the consequences of the weather. SOS Alarm, the emergency services, Skåne’s medical disaster teams and the police are in the process of massive preparation procedures, according to the newspaper Sydsvenskan.

Some 30 all-terrain vehicles have been prepared for reaching people who fall ill at home or who are involved in traffic accidents in inaccessible areas.


Trains delayed and roads slippery in Sweden despite lower snowfall

Sweden's state-owned rail company SJ cancelled several train services on Tuesday as a result of the snowy weather, while forecasters warned that roads could still be slippery in many regions.

Trains delayed and roads slippery in Sweden despite lower snowfall

SJ is cancelling several regional trains on Tuesday between Stockholm and Uppsala, Stockholm and Västerås, and Gävle and Linköping at the request of the Swedish Transport Administration, which wants to free up space on the tracks. 

At the same time, weather forecaster SMHI warned that, while snowfall would decrease over the day, there would still be a risk of slippery roads in many areas.

“It’s still continuing to snow, but the intensive snowfall we are now warning about will come to an end during the day, starting in the south of the country,” state meteorologist Angelica Lundberg told the TT newswire.  “Over the coming days there may be an increased risk of slipping and this is the case most of all close to the coast.” 

Bengt Olsson, press officer for the Swedish Transport Administration, told SVT that the disruptions seen on Sunday and Monday looked likely to ease off on Tuesday. 

“It’s a bit calmer so far. There’s another type of road surface to day. It’s starting to freeze up a but. There’s a lot of crust from the snow and patches of ice out on the road, so its the risk of skidding that we are trying to deal with today.”

The slippery roads have led to some busses being cancelled, with Dalatrafiken, the bus operator in Dalarna, cancelling several regional bus services. 

Buses parked at the Keolis bus depot in Värtahamnen cruise terminal in Stockholm.
Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Stockholm’s transport operator SL suspended the Lindingöbanan Light-railway line on Tuesday morning, and has also reduced some commuter train services. In Söderort, Huddinge and Botkyrka all bus services have been cancelled. 

“The measures taken to prevent skidding aren’t working,” SL’s press spokesperson Andreas Strömberg told SVT. “At Juliaborg in Huddinge six of our buses got stuck, so the traffic controllers decided to cancel all further services so we can get in snow ploughs.

Snow was continuing to fall on Tuesday over much of central Sweden, and SMHI has issued the lowest “yellow” weather warning for Sörmland, Västmanland, Örebro, Dalarna, and the north of Värmland. 

In most places, there is now between 5cm-15cm of snow, with 20cm in some places.