Storms bring 1,200 lightning flashes in an hour

Severe storms swept across Värmland and Närke counties early on Tuesday afternoon, prompting the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) to issue a Category 1 warning, indicating a possible danger to the general public.

Storms bring 1,200 lightning flashes in an hour
Photo: Jared Smith

By lunchtime on Tuesday the thunder and lightning, which during the morning had hung over western Sweden, had pushed northwards and eastwards to the middle of Värmland and Närke. Meanwhile, storms in the south east of the country had shifted from Blekinge to the island of Öland.

SMHI reported over a thousand lightning bolts.

“We have recorded around 1,200 lightning flashes in an hour and there were 165 in the last ten minutes,” said Sten Laurin, duty meteorologist at SMHI.

“That’s a lot. It’s worst in Värmland.”

The thunder and lightning left torrential rains in its wake. In Lysekil between 25 and 30 millimetres of rain fell in half an hour.

SMHI warned that more thunder clouds would form between the two storm zones throughout the day. The thunder and lightning was expected to drift north to Dalarna and eastern Svealand.

“In the long run the thundery weather will weaken but there will still be some around until the evening,” said Sten Laurin.

A Category 1 warning is the lowest issued by SMHI and means that certain risks to public safety can be expected.

“People need to think a little. Don’t go out and climb trees and maybe don’t go out in open fields where you risk being the highest point. It could also be a good idea to unplug your telephone and modem cables so nothing gets damaged if you’re unlucky enough to get hit,” said SMHI’s Alexandra Ohlsson.