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OFFBEAT

Sun causes rail traffic delays

Just months after heavy snowfall prompted major rail traffic disturbances in Sweden, the sun has now staked its claim as a disruptive force by causing rails to expand and delaying trains in Malmö on Saturday.

Three out of six lines were closed off at Malmö central station as the sweltering sun caused an expansion of the rails, a process that dramatically increases the risk of derailment.

“This entails certain delays but it won’t halt rail traffic,” said Jonas Bengtsson, spokesman for the Swedish Transport Administration.

Passengers on certain routes bound for Malmö were forced to either switch to different trains or take connecting buses in order to reach their destination.

Rail workers then had to wait until nightfall, and an attendant drop in temperatures, before being able to repair the rails.

Transport officials are on high alert and have already set aside resources to tackle the problem after Stockholm and Malmö each recorded two cases of thermal expansion on Monday.

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WEATHER

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.”

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