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Rainstorms to drown Midsummer joy

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Rainstorms to drown Midsummer joy
Midsummer or funeral procession? Friday may look something like this. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT
10:08 CEST+02:00
The longest day of the year promises rain and even snow... so be sure to pack an umbrella to go with the bottle of aquavit.

It's the most wonderful time of the year. Or at least it should be. Meatballs are best-selling and tummies are swelling as each Swede grabs a beer... and then makes a run for their rain gear.

Midsummer is undoubtedly the most important day on the Swedish calendar. Nearly everyone gets the day off work, and dancing around the Maypole until you're sunburned (or at least slightly sweaty) is a must. 

Alas, this year galoshes may be more appropriate than sandals, and more than one Swede may be drowning their sorrows in aquavit as the festivities are drowned by persistent precipitation. This midsummer will be cold and wet. 

The Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) reminded the nation this week that the weather has actually been warmer than usual. Now the northern chill is on its way back - just in time for Midsummer. Temperatures will however around 10C to 15C in northern Sweden, and 15 to 20 in the south.

And as for seeing the sun? Don't count on it. Though Stockholmers may at least get a quick glimpse.

"As it looks now, those on the eastern coast will have the greatest chances of seeing the sun," meterologist Emil Björck told news agency TT. 

IN PICTURES: Top ten odd Swedish Midsummer traditions

Up in Norrland the forecast is even dimmer, with promises (or threats) that frost and snow will be joining the celebrations.

Either the midsummer forecast is notoriously unpredictable, or weather forecasters are simply in denial - because they never settle on a "reliable" weather report until the very day. When it starts raining, that is. Until then, there is hope. 

On Tuesday the general consensus, however, was that Friday's festivities would be dampened by rain and ruffled by pestery winds, with temperatures staying just shy of 15C.

Still, things could be worse. Stockholmers have been measuring midsummer temperatures since 1756, and this one is decidedly average. Back in 1987 the high in Stockholm on Midsummer was only 11C. Just remember that when you grab your wool jumper and thermal socks. 

And if the weather isn't dreary enough for you, we have another six reasons to hate Swedish Midsummer. 

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