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Sweden's 'warmest December in 250 years'

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Sweden's 'warmest December in 250 years'
07:43 CET+01:00
Sweden is experiencing one of its warmest Decembers on record, according to meteorologists, as record high temperatures have spawned signs of spring in the middle of winter.

While the hurricane-strength winds of Christmas weekend's storms left many Swedes stranded and without power, that didn't stop the mercury from reaching new heights in several locations across the country.

In Delsbo in eastern Sweden, a high temperature of 10.3 degrees Celsius on December 27th smashed a 60-year-old record, according to meteorological agency SMHI.

And in Gävle, also in eastern Sweden, Tuesday's high temperature of 11.3 degrees marks the second warmest December temperature since measurements began in 1858.

Karlstad in central Sweden also set a new record of December warmth with a reading of 10.7 degrees on the 26th.

“It's unusually mild, almost warm, if you compare to the past,” Martin Hedberg, a meteorologist with Klart.se, told the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper.

Stockholm has been three degrees above normal, but Norbotten [in northern Sweden] really stands out with seven to ten degrees above normal.”

Hedberd called December 2011 one of the ten warmest in Sweden in 250 years, leaving much of Sweden devoid of snow.

“We've had two proper winters, so many have been surprised at how mild it's been and the lack of snow,” he told SvD.

According to measurements from SMHI, December 2011 is the fourth warmest in Stockholm in 150 years, with the average monthly temperature coming in at 2.5 degrees.

Hedberg explained, however, that the last two cold and snowy Swedish winters are more the exception than the rule.

In the future, mild winters “will be increasingly” common, in part due to global warming, he said.

The warm temperatures have resulted in various sightings of signs of spring in various parts of Sweden.

In the south of Sweden, Chanterelle mushrooms were discovered recently by a Swedish girl out riding her horse, while others have reported seeing strawberries, blooming flowers, and budding trees.

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