‘Hurricane’ Katia fells trees, disrupts traffic

Trees were felled to the ground, train traffic was halted, and thousands were left without power as the remnants of Hurricane Katia swept through Sweden on Tuesday.

'Hurricane' Katia fells trees, disrupts traffic

The storm winds from Katia will linger in northern areas even on Wednesday, although meteorological office SMHI has downgraded its class one weather warning.

The storm swept in as expected over Sweden’s west coast on Tuesday morning.

Strong winds brought down trees across rail tracks and overhead power lines. Well into Tuesday evening continued Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) working furiously to restore power and to get delayed trains back in the storm track.

Road traffic was also affected in some areas after trees fell across roads.

The wind also caused thousands of power outages in areas spanning Västra Götaland, Värmland, Örebro, Östergötland and Södermanland.

“When there are a lot of interruptions which succeed each other, it may eventually lead to congestion on the lines and that cause new disruptions,” said Mary Lydzell at energy firm Vattenfall’s press service.

The windy weather was expected to persist on Wednesday.

“It is moving quite slowly and quite deep. But it is going to ease off out by the west coast and then continue to slowdown as it pushes across the country, further east,” said Emil Björck, meteorologist at SMHI.

Tuesday’s storm peaked at around 3pm on the west coast with some islands experiencing average wind speed at 80 kilometres per hour with gusts up to 105 kilometres per hour.

The storm peaks at 90 kilometres per hour and a hurricane is defined as being above 115 kilometres per hour.

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Winter storm set to sweep across Sweden

A winter storm, which has already claimed two lives in Norway, is forecast to sweep across Sweden on Friday. The national weather service has issued its second-highest warning, saying snow is most likely on the cards in many parts of the country this weekend.

Winter storm set to sweep across Sweden
Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

The unusually mild Christmas weather is set to come to an end on Friday, when a winter storm crosses the Norwegian border and into Sweden.

“Christmas day will be very windy, especially in the evening,” the national weather agency SMHI wrote on its website, adding winds are expected to reach a speed of 21 meters per second in the southwest.

A class 1 warning, the lowest on a scale of three, has been issued in the southwest, while a class 2 warning has been issued for the north and the mountain ranges of Härjedalen and Jämtland in the east.

“Leading into Boxing Day there will be rain coming in from the southeast,” agency spokesman Marcus Sjöstedt told news agency TT.

Sjöstedt said it will most likely snow in the south on Saturday, adding the white stuff is likely to fall also in the centre and moving up towards the north during the night to Sunday.

 In Norway, the storm is thought to have killed two people on Christmas Eve. One woman died in Oslo after being hit by a flagpole that the winds had snapped into two. On Norway’s southern coast, a man is believed to have drowned after being caught by a wave and dragged out to sea.