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WEATHER

Icy Swedish rooftops could be deadly

The Great Chill enveloping Northern Europe shows signs of lessening, but Sweden faces another type of problem. Far too much snow and ice on rooftops must be removed immediately–and there are laws about this. But there aren’t enough skilled roof cleaners to do the job, reports the national daily Dagens Nyheter.

Snow-laden rooftops on old buildings, in particular, pose dangers. Chunks of ice or icicles can simply slide suddenly onto sidewalks and passersby. The newspaper notes that in 2001 a 14-year-old boy was killed in Stockholm when struck by an ice block.

Even though there are specialized companies for shoveling rooftops, there’s a shortage of skilled cleaners, according to Bengt Wånggren, development manager at the Swedish Real Estate Owners Association (Sveriges Fastighetsägare).

Amateurs shouldn’t attempt to do the job, “which itself can be dangerous,” said Joel Wennerström from a company called Rope Access. “There’s a risk they’ll end up being speared by an icicle.”

None of which offers much solace for pedestrians. The best advice is to steer somewhat clear of older multistory buildings for the time being.

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WEATHER

So did Sweden beat its all-time temperature record on Thursday? Not quite

Sweden on Thursday came close to beating its 75-year-old temperature record, but fell short by just under one degree with a top temperature of 37.2C.

So did Sweden beat its all-time temperature record on Thursday? Not quite

The village of Målilla in Småland came close to beating the 38C heat record it set in 1947, logging a temperature of 37.2C. 

“It’s the highest temperature recorded in Sweden since 1947,” Mattias Lind, a meteorologist at Sweden’s state forecaster SMHI, told the country’s TT newswire. 

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As the punishing heat seen across the rest of Europe briefly rose up to touch Sweden, several cities beat their own records, with Linköping setting a new record with a 36.9C temperature. The city of Jönköping, with 35.3C, recorded the highest temperature since records began in 1858. 

Even the north of Sweden saw the mercury rise above 30C, with Gävle recording a temperature of 33.5C.

Temperatures are forecast to drop significantly on Friday, sinking below 20C across the country on Saturday, with thunder storms expected in many areas. 

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