Heavy snow set to disrupt Christmas traffic

Heavy snow set to disrupt Christmas traffic
Sweden's fierce wintry weather is set to continue with warnings for heavy snowfalls in eastern parts and widespread disruption to rail services in the south of the country.

“It is primarily from Stockholm and north along the east coast. A class one (of three on a climbing scale) warning has been issued for one to decimetres of fresh snow,” said Lisa Frost at Sweden’s main meteorological office SMHI to news agency TT.

“There is also a class one warning around (Lake) Vänern where light snow could cause traffic problems,” she said.

After the snow comes the cold, with temperatures set to plunge across the country.

“It will be minus 10-15 degrees (Celsius) in the south and minus 20 in the north.”

And just as the Christmas traffic hits its peak on Thursday afternoon, as many Swedes head to their country homes, a new front of snow will push in from the south and across the country.

“During Thursday afternoon it looks like it could snow quite heavily along the west coast. Precipitation will then spread up over Götaland during the night before Christmas Eve,” Lisa Frost said.

Those electing to take the train in southern areas of Sweden will not avoid the wintry transport havoc with local operator Skånetrafiken announcing the prospect of widespread cancellations following the heavy snow and teething problems with Malmö’s new City tunnel.

Among the cancelled trains include around 100 departures from Hyllie in Malmö and Lund, as well as all commuter trains between Malmö and Höör. Traffic to and from Denmark will also be affected.

The weather forecast for Skåne is for severe cold and isolated snowfalls.

While the adverse weather has caused problems for air travel across Europe, Sweden’s airports have been coping well.

“It looks good at Swedavia’s airports. There can still be some affect of all the problems experienced at European airports,” said Helena Miller at the firm which operates 14 of Sweden’s largest airports.

“Heathrow opened again this morning, but we are expecting a number of subsequent delays due to the problems which have occurred. Frankfurt still has problems which is also having an effect,” she said.

Helena Miller however recommended all Christmas travellers to be at the airport in good time with a busy few days ahead.

Roads across the country are also set to offer more problems to drivers, the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) has warned.

“We have problems in most areas of the country with snow impacting vision,” said Peter Behrman at the agency to news agency TT.

Roads conditions stretching from Stockholm north to Haparanda are set to pose problems.

“It is a combination of snow and wind which makes things difficult. There is a risk that minor roads are snowed in. We are out with out vehicles and try to keep things at bay. The major roads are prioritised so we recommend that those are chosen.”

Train services across the country, aside from in Skåne, are on Monday reported to running relatively normally and without any notable disruptions.

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