Sunshine returns after heavy storms

Intense thunderstorms led to power cuts and flooding in parts of Sweden on Saturday, as the entire island of Gotland was left without electricity.

Sunshine returns after heavy storms

Starting in the south and moving up through the country, the blazing summer weather gave way to thunder and lightning and torrential downpours throughout the day. In the far south, Ronneby was hit by flooding in some 50 cellars.

“We got around 40 millimetres in half an hour. It was pretty heavy stuff,” said local fire chief Torbjörn Svensson.

At around 5pm lightning struck the power cables linking the Baltic island of Gotland to the mainland, depriving all 37,500 of Gotlands Energi AB’s customers of electricity. The company was able to resume some services by employing energy reserves from gas turbines in Slite.

By 9.30pm the mainland cable was fully operational and around 99 percent of customers had got their electricity back. The storm continued to hover over the island however and a number of houses were flooded. Emergency services were also kept fully occupied by automatic alarms activated by flashes of lightning.

Less severe storms were expected to hit Norrland on Sunday while the rest of the country can expect a gradual return to sunnier weather. Temperatures however will not reach the giddy heights of last week.

“It will be more like a normal Swedish summer with maximum temperatures of 25 to 26 degrees,” said Therese Fougman at meteorological agency SMHI.

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Storm Otto to batter western Sweden from Friday afternoon

Storm Otto is due to hit the west coast of Sweden on Friday afternoon, reaching its peak in the evening and night with winds of between 27 and 31 metres per second, just short of hurricane strength. 

Storm Otto to batter western Sweden from Friday afternoon

Swedish weather forecaster SMHI has issued an orange warning for northwest Skåne, southwest Kronoberg, western Halland and southwest Bohuslän, warning that buildings could be damaged, and trees blown down over roads and power lines. 

“There’s going to be about three to five hours when it will be at its absolute worst,” Therese Fogman, one of SMHI’s forecasters, told the TT newswire.

People living in western Sweden are being asked to tie down any loose objects in their gardens and to be careful when going outside. 

“You should be aware that there could be branches falling and objects blowing around in this wind,” Fogman said. 

Several train services in Skåne, Halland and Västra Götaland have been suspended on Friday and Saturday. SMHI is warning that buildings and forests could be damaged. 

All services are suspended between Helsingborg and Eslöv from 4pm, from Ystad to Simrishamn from 6pm, from Markaryd to Hässleholm from 8pm, and from Kristianstad to Karlskrona from 8.20pm. 

From 4pm, all train services between Uddevalla and Strömstad, Öxnered and Borås, Håkantorp and Gårdsjö, and Borås to Varberg.

Services will resume on all these lines from 12pm on Saturday.