Whirlwind sparks panic at Stockholm pool

Shocked bathers took to their heels on Friday afternoon as a powerful whirlwind drew in over a popular outdoor swimming pool.

The tornado-like meteorological phenomenon sent objects flying through the air as it hit Eriksdalsbadet in the south of the city at around 4pm. There were no reports of any injuries.

“The tornado pulled a pavilion tent right up into the air. It flew up to a height of around 100 metres and stayed hanging there for ten to fifteen minutes,” said Disa Krosness, a staff member working at the poolside when the whirlwind hit.

“People were jumpy, shocked and exhilarated. It was chaos. Things flew away and got lost, or they flew into the pool. A flagpole broke; a park table turned over… it’ll all take time to tidy up. A lot of people got scared and left afterwards. They thought the tornado would return,” she added.

Staff remained busy cleaning up after the whirlwind as the pool closed for the evening at 7pm.

Therese Fougman, a weather expert at meteorological agency SMHI, said the chaos was unlikely to have been caused by a tornado.

“There are tornadoes every summer, usually out at sea where most people don’t see them. But usually they occur in combination with clouds, thunder clouds mainly, and that’s not at all the kind of conditions we had over Stockholm today.”

Fougman was however able to offer an alternative explanation.

“There is an inverse phenomenon whereby tornadoes are formed on the surface of water, for example, and are pulled upwards. These are called dust devils but it’s really the same phenomenon and it occurs on warm days,” she said.

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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. 


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.