Rainfall warning in effect for southern Sweden

A heavy rainfall warning is in effect over southern Sweden for Thursday, the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (Sveriges meteorologiska och hydrologiska institut, SMHI) has announced.

Rainfall warning in effect for southern Sweden
A car driving along Bergslagsvägen in western Stockholm in heavy rain, May 2008.

Nearly 50 millimetres of rainfall are expected in the southern parts of Dalarna and Västmanland counties on Thursday. The rainfall is then expected to drift over Norway and the Norwegian Sea.

The rain will pour down over southern Sweden on Thursday. The rainy weather was on its way on Wednesday afternoon from the east coast and will spread itself over Götaland in the southern part of the country overnight.

“It looks like the most prolonged rain will be in Svealand,” said SMHI meteorologist Sten Laurin.

SMHI issued warnings on Wednesday for Värmland, the coast of Uppland, Dalarna, Västmanland and Örebro, where 30 to 40 millimetres precipitation are expected on Thursday. Locally, it could rain up to 50 millimetres.

On Thursday, the rain is expected to reach Norway, with local showers at night into Friday. After that, the rainfall will be dragged out over the Norwegian Sea.

It has rained heavily in Poland and in the Baltic states in the last few days. However, it is not the same rain pattern that is now sweeping over Sweden, said Laurin.

“This is a dynamic process in which old rain areas are dying out and new ones are formed elsewhere,” he said. “That is what makes it so difficult to forecast.”

Southwesterly winds will push away the warm weather over the weekend and early next week, which will make the weather forecasts more secure, added Laurin.

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Floods as Swedish cities get two months of rain in 24 hours

Large areas of Sweden saw extreme levels of rain over the weekend, with the city of Linköping receiving more than 100mm of rain in 24 hours, twice as it usually receives in the whole of August. 

Floods as Swedish cities get two months of rain in 24 hours

According to Swedish weather forecaster SMHI, the Linköping-Malmslätt area received 96mm between Saturday night at 8am on Sunday morning. The area normally received between 60mm and 70mm in August as a whole. 

“There was such an absurd amount of rain that the data was at first rejected by our system,” Therese Fougman, a meteorologist at the forecaster, told Sweden’s TT newswire. “It is continuing to rain during the day, and it is lying in a band over Östergötland, Sörmland och further up towards Uppland, predicting there would be a further 40mm to 50mm in the next 12 hours. 

The downpours have led to flooding in several areas, and caused traffic problem with cars at risk of aquaplaning on roads such as the E18, which were covered in a thick layer of water. 

Lennart Ågren, who was the duty leader of rescue services in Östra Götaland, told TT on Sunday afternoon that rescuers had been called out to several floods in Linköping and Mantorp. 

“There were streets under water, and water was running into properties so we had to throw all our resources at it for several hours,” he said. 

In Jönköping, rescue services were called out to flooding at a school and in other places, while in Växjö, lightening hit close to the place where a student party was being held at the local university campus. 

In Linköping, rescue services told TT that they had been called out 30 times. “We’ve been stretched but have managed to handle it,” said Pedher Helmer, who was in charge of rescue services in Östergötland over the weekend. 

The heavy rain is expected to move to Blekinge, Skåne, Öland and Gotland over the coming days, with a risk for flooding.