Snowstorms heading for Stockholm

Powerful snowstorms swept across southern Sweden early on Thursday morning with winds reaching up to 17 metres per second.

At least 10 centimetres of snow has fallen in the last 24 hours in Småland and now the weather system is heading towards Stockholm.

“It’s on its way north pretty fast,” said Jan Näs, a meteorologist at the Swedish Meteorological Institute (SMHI).

The coast winds are expected to make things particularly treacherous in the capital.

“It will be here by lunchtime, but it won’t reach its worst for a few hours,” said Näs to Dagens Nyheter.

According to Sverker Hellström, also at SMHI, the weather had reached Skåne, Blekinge, south Öland, south west Småland and south Gotland by 5am, bringing constant snowfall.

Southern Skåne has been experiencing serious traffic problems. Rosita Svärd, traffic manager at the Swedish Roads Agency in the region, said that the snowfall has led to major problems in Österlen, Söderslätt and the area south of Eslöv.

“The roads which go from north to south are the worst affected, with a high risk of snow drifts,” she said to TT.

A goods train carrying a small amount of hydrochloric acid was derailed in a sidings yard in Helsingborg early on Thursday. Overhead electricity lines were switched off, disrupting train traffic in the region.

SJ has brought in buses on the Lund-Helsingborg stretch of the railway as a result of the accident.

Between Växjö and Hovmantorp a tree fell on a goods train at around 6am. According to workers on the scene, the railway would be closed for at least four hours, causing problems to rail traffic between Växjö and Kalmar.

A large number of train departures in the south of the country have been cancelled on Thursday to allow snow ploughs to clear the tracks.

“We recommend that anyone who has to go out today allows extra time,” said Tobias Johansson at SJ.

Just after 8am almost 4,000 customers of power company Eon were without electricity due to the snow and wind. The problem was worst in the Kronoberg and Jönköping regions. Milder weather with heavy, wet snow would lead to more difficulties, warned Jan-Erik Olsson at Eon.

The company said it had more than 300 people out on the ground removing fallen trees and repairing electricity cables.

By tomorrow morning the whole country is expected to be covered in snow, and it will continue falling throughout the day.

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