Tornadoes and floods strike across Sweden

Tornadoes and floods strike across Sweden
A series of tornadoes hit Sweden's coastlines on Tuesday afternoon as a low-pressure system from the south blasted into the country, bringing heavy rains and floods in its wake.

Gotland, an island off Sweden’s east coast, was particularly hard hit by the change in weather, with floods taking over the town of Visby.

“We are experiencing an unstable weather situation right now,” Eva Sandberg, meteorologist at Sweden’s weather agency SMHI, told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

In Halmstad, in Sweden’s south east, tornadoes formed along the coastline.

“Tornadoes are not really connected with rain weather but are formed in connection with thunder. And on the west coast they’ve been formed by some thunderous weather throughout the day,” she added.

Read the weather forecast for your corner of Sweden

The rain clouds, meanwhile, are heading north and are predicted to reach the top of the country in Norrland by the end of the day.

Tornadoes in Sweden are particularly common along the southern coastlines in late summer, SMHI noted. They are usually far less ferocious than the killer tornadoes known to wreak havoc across North America, where wind speeds can reach up to 140 metres per second. In Sweden, the worst tornadoes usually hit speeds of 70 metres per second.

The Swedish tornadoes are also smaller in diametre – usually between 10 and 100 metres, while tornadoes in the States have been known to grow ten times as big, hitting the 1-kilometre mark.

On Tuesday, SMHI issued a class one warning predicting 50 millimetres of rainfall and strong winds in Gotland, Öland and Svealand. Those planning to take boat trips in the area have been asked to take particular precautions, as the winds will ensure dangerous conditions on the water.

The storm is likely to wear off some time on Thursday, when summer will return to Sweden and temperatures will rise as high as 30C.

TT/The Local/og

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