Sweden braces for massive snow onslaught

Sweden braces for massive snow onslaught
Stockholm faces up to 30 centimetres of snow in the next 24 hours, say forecasters who have issued a class 2 storm warning for much of central and southern Sweden, especially along the Baltic coast.

“We’ve warned Stockholm that it faces 20 to 30 centimetres of snow by Wednesday afternoon,” meteorologist Linnea Rehn at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) told the TT news agency.

The snowfall will continue until Wednesday evening, she said.

According to SMHI’s 3-class scale, a class 2 warning means there is a “danger to the public, widespread material damage, and significant disruptions to important civic operations”.

Temperatures are expected to stay below freezing point across the country, with northern Sweden facing minus 15 degrees Celcius.

The weather has already caused traffic delays in southern Sweden.

Blekinge, Kalmar and Jönköping Counties are the most severely affected, Sweden’s Transport Authority (Trafikverket) warned on its website.

“We’re seeing a lot of snow and on the roads, it’s tough,” Reine Johansson, police duty officer in Kronoberg and Kalmar Counties, told TT.

Trucks had to pull over because the roads were too slippery along highway 40 west of Eksjö on Tuesday afternoon.

A tank truck accident between Kalmar and Mönsterås put a complete stop to traffic on the the E22 motorway.

Two bus passengers received cuts to their faces when a truck skidded into the bus they were travelling on and shattered several of its side windows on Tuesday morning in Uppvidinge municipality.

Despite the travails, the Transport Authority say traffic is going more smoothly than on Monday.

“I think people develop a false sense of security when it’s no longer raining but then the weather turns,” spokesperson Peter Behrman said.

Looking at previous winters, temperatures could still swing dramatically back and forth during December, reaching plus 5 at times but sinking far below zero at others.

“A lot of different kinds of weather is perfectly normal for December,” said meteorologist Anna Hagenblad.

TT/The Local/at

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