Severe storms batter Sweden

The Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) has issued a Class 3 warning for Västerbotten and northern Ångermanland in the north of the country. This is the highest warning level, which means a risk for very extreme weather conditions and major disruptions to important public services.

“The reason for the warning is the combination of snow and harsh winds. It will be very windy in the north but these winds will recede during the evening,” said meteorologist Arne Hagmaker.

The storm is however no longer predicted to rival Gudrun, which paralysed parts of southern Sweden in January 2005.

By 9am 15,000 homes in Sweden were without electricity. Energy company Eon was hardest hit with over 13,000 of its customers experiencing power cuts. Fortum and Vattenfall each had just over 1,000 customers without electricity.

Just after 7am the centre of the storm had made its way to northern Svealand and southern Norrland.

But the west coast was hardest hit.

“The strongest winds were measured at Väderö in Halland. The average wind speed there at the moment is 22 metres per second,” said Arne Hagmarker.

The storm is expected to die out in southern Sweden over the course of the morning, leaving behind it a dramatic improvement in weather conditions for the afternoon.

Central Sweden has been spared the worst of the wind and rain so for but the wind is expected to pick up, with storm fronts reaching the coast of Uppland towards the evening.

While some minor incidents have been reported – the trailer of a Polish-registered truck tipped over twice in the space of one hour south of Halmstad – the storm has not resulted in any casualties.

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