Record lows as winter freeze grips Sweden

Record lows as winter freeze grips Sweden
A new record low for the winter was set on Saturday morning in northern Sweden as the mercury plunged to -33.5 degrees Celsius following heavy overnight snowfalls across eastern areas of the country.

The seasonal low was recorded in Vittangi between Kiruna and Gällivare, beating the -32.6 degrees Celsius recorded in Nedre Soppero on Friday evening.

The Swedish meteorological office SMHI has issued a class 1 warning for the coast of Norrland, up to the Västerbotten coast, where the snow is continuing to fall.

A class 1 warning is the least serious on SMHI’s three-level scale, and indicates “certain risks for society” which can cause “disruption to some important societal functions”.

Most of the snowfall forecast for the coming days is expected along the east coast of Sweden.

“There is up to 40 centimetres of snow,” said Emil Björck, meteorologist at SMHI.

During Saturday the snowfalls will spread through inland areas of Dalarna, Jämtland and Härjedalen.

“It will also be snowing heavily around (lakes) Vänern and Vättern during the day, said Björck.

There are widespread problems on the roads as the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) struggles to keep pace with the snowfalls.

“What happens when it snows this much is that you get accessibility problems on the roads. It takes several hours before the roads are in shape and passable. At the same time there are often fewer serious accidents as speeds are lower,” said Lennart Helsing at the Transport Administration press service.

He advised all those who can wait to delay their journeys until the roads are cleared.

There are furthermore reports of delays to train services along the coast of Norrland, in Gävleborg, Dalarna, Västernorrland and in Jämtland due to the snowfall.

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