“If you’re in the mountains, stay indoors,” meteorologist André Franke told the Aftonbladet newspaper.
Sweden’s Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, SMHI, has issued a class 2 warning for northwestern Sweden ahead of the extreme weather conditions set to hit Sweden as Berit rolls across the country after wreaking havoc in neighbouring Norway.
According to SMHI’s 3-class scale, a class 2 warning mean there is a “danger to the public, widespread material damage, and significant disruptions to important civic operations”.
Much of the rest of the country is covered by a lower-grade class 1 warning.
The storm is expected to bring winds of up to 90 kilometres per hour
“There will be very strong winds but also a risk of the storm turning into hurricane strength,” said Stina Kihlgren at SMHI to Aftonbladet.
The snow showers expected to accompany the strong winds are expected to make the storm extra treacherous, especially for anyone in Sweden’s mountainous northwest.
“I wouldn’t go out in the mountains in this weather,” SMHI’s Lovisa Andersson told the TT news agency.
The Swedish Transport Agency (Trafikverket) has also warned motorists to be on the lookout for icy roads and slippery road conditions throughout the north from Friday night.
“The roads are likely to be icy and we want to make drivers aware that they have to be extra careful,” the agency’s Anna Hansson told daily Expressen.
The agency says it is prepared for whatever snow removal duties or salting of icy roads that will become necessary.
“As soon as the winter season begins we are ready,” Hansson told the paper.
While conditions may calm down slightly in northern Sweden by the close of Saturday, southern Sweden is set to get hit by strong wind gusts on Sunday.
“There’s a low pressure system that’s rushing through. In southern Sweden it’s going to be windy tomorrow (Saturday), but then things will really get going. It looks like the worst will come during the day on Sunday,” SMHI’s Franke told Aftonbladet.
The eye of the storm is set to hit northern Sweden from the Atlantic on Saturday, but most of Sweden will see harsh winds over the weekend and will be likely to be hit by some rain or snow.
“It’s going to be a windy 24 hours with some precipitation, albeit not a massive amount,” said Kihlgren to Aftonbladet.