Weather agency issues fresh storm warning

Snowfalls of up to 30-40 centimetres have been forecast for southern and central areas of Sweden on Friday evening. Meteorological agency SMHI has issued a storm warning with traffic disruption as a result.

Weather agency issues fresh storm warning

SMHI has issued a class 2 storm warning (of four, with four being the highest) for large parts of Götaland and Svealand. A new snow front is heading in from the west and will dump large quantities of snow on already hard hit transport routes.

Strong north-easterly winds gave SMHI cause to warn of significant property damage, disruption to key public services and significant danger for the general public.

The bad weather is set to draw eastwards on Saturday, with snowfalls of 20-30 centimetres forecast for Stockholm.

The Swedish Rail Administration (Banverket) has warned of potential problems to rail services and has pledged that it is as prepared as it can be.

“We have as many people working at our traffic service centres as possible, as well as sub-contractors who are working three round-the-clock shifts with snow clearance,” said Anna Hansson at the administration.

Transport problems began to occur across the Stockholm region as light snow began falling during the course of Friday morning.

Many school buses in western Sweden were cancelled due to the bad weather and one school was closed. In Vänersborg the Birger Sjöberg high school, as well as Torpa and Tärnan schools, were evacuated due to safety concerns over the large quantities of snow on roofs.

A roof, weighed down with snow, collapsed on a barn near Vimmerby in southern Sweden shortly after 10am on Friday morning. According to SOS Alarm emergency services there were around 50 young animals inside the building.

The Local reported on Thursday that many municipalities across Sweden had either exhausted their snow clearance budgets, or were close to doing so. With the heavy winter weather forecast to keep Sweden in its iron grip for a while yet, the economic consequences can only continue to mount.

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Swedish towns set record for warmest March weekend

Several places around Sweden broke temperature records over the weekend, as unusually warm weather for March bathed the northern half of the country.

Swedish towns set record for warmest March weekend

Torpshammar, near Sundsvall in Västernorrland, on Sunday recorded a temperature of 16.8C.

This was the highest temperature registered anywhere in the country so far this year, although Gävle and Delsbo in Gävleborg were close behind, with both recording a temperature of 16.7C. 

“It’s been warm across the country, but it’s been mostly in the middle and north of Norrland that we’ve had temperatures that are a long way above normal,” Ida Dahlström, a meteorologist with state weather forecaster SMHI, told the TT newswire.

For Delsbo 16.7C is the highest temperature recorded in March since records began in 1898. The cities of Kiruna and Umeå, and the harbour town of Örskär, where records began in 1898, 1858, and 1937 respectively, also all set new March records.

Gäddede and Frösön, both close to the Norwegian border in Jämtland, registered the warmest March day since 1945, while the nearby Storlien registered the warmest March day since 1881.

Dahlström said that cold wind would soon bring an end to the balmy temperatures, with snow expected on Tuesday in many of the central parts of Sweden currently enjoying unusual spring warmth. 

Last year, Sweden recorded the third-hottest June on record, with Stockholm seeing its hottest ever month.

“June 2021 was the hottest June ever recorded in my hometown Stockholm, by a large margin,” climate campaigner Greta Thunberg tweeted at the time. “The second hottest June was in 2020. The third in 2019,” she added.

“Am I sensing a pattern here? Nah, probably just another coincidence.”