Hurricane warning for southern Sweden

The Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) is warning that hurricane-force winds are possible over Skåne and western Sweden during the late afternoon and evening on New Year's Day.

“We are now issuing a grade three warning, the highest we can give, for Skåne. That means extreme weather which could put the public in danger and could knowck out important infrastructure,” said Jonas Höglund, the duty meteorologist at SMHI.

The storm, which is expected to bring rain, hail and possibly thunder to Skåne, is likely to peak in Västra Götaland later in the day. It will move further east during the evening.

“We are expecting very strong winds and heavy rainfall,” said Höglund.

As a result of the storm the water level is already high on the west coast, he added.

The anticipated bad weather prompted Eon, the main electricity supplier in southern Sweden, to put extra staff on standby, while Varberg municipality cancelled its annual New Year celebrations.

The lack of frost in the south of the country has led to fears of damage to forests.

“There is a high risk of trees being uprooted,” said Jonas Höglund.