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WEATHER

Train traffic stalled as storms hit Sweden

UPDATED: Heavy rainfall in central Sweden on Sunday has seen train and road traffic grinding to a halt and over 100 homes evacuated.

Train traffic stalled as storms hit Sweden
Stockholmers in a very wet capital. File photo: TT
Weather agency SMHI issued 13 class-1 warnings for wet  and windy weather on Sunday as storms spread eastwards across the country. 
 
Stockholm county was specifically singled out, with the agency noting that it and several nearby counties could expect up to 50 mm of rainfall on Sunday. 
 
The morning saw over 100 homes evacuated in Hallsberg, near Örebro in central Sweden, with emergency services noting that water levels inside some people's houses had reached “around a metre” in depth. 
 
Pictures in Swedish media have shown people travelling down residential roads in canoes, or wading waist deep.
 
Train traffic between Hallsberg and Laxå ground to a halt too, leaving rail and road traffic between Gothenburg and Stockholm delayed.
 

Firemen in Mariefred, near Stockholm, on Sunday where many roads were closed. Photo: TT
 
Many areas in central Sweden were hit hard too, with Hjortkvarn recording 97 mm of rain over a 24-hour period, noted SMHI on Sunday morning. 
 
In Kumla, central Sweden, one resident was no doubt left in panic after getting stuck in a flooding elevator. 
 
Local emergency services rescued the Swede, telling the TT news agency that the situation was “terribly unnerving”.
 
Meanwhile, around 50 cellars so far have been reported to have flooded, with Stockholm emergency crews also contacted about flooding homes. 
 
Up north, the weather is even wilder, with Låktatjåkko mountain station near Björkliden in Swedish Lapland reporting the season's first snowfall on Friday.

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WEATHER

Swedish towns set record for warmest March weekend

Several places around Sweden broke temperature records over the weekend, as unusually warm weather for March bathed the northern half of the country.

Swedish towns set record for warmest March weekend

Torpshammar, near Sundsvall in Västernorrland, on Sunday recorded a temperature of 16.8C.

This was the highest temperature registered anywhere in the country so far this year, although Gävle and Delsbo in Gävleborg were close behind, with both recording a temperature of 16.7C. 

“It’s been warm across the country, but it’s been mostly in the middle and north of Norrland that we’ve had temperatures that are a long way above normal,” Ida Dahlström, a meteorologist with state weather forecaster SMHI, told the TT newswire.

For Delsbo 16.7C is the highest temperature recorded in March since records began in 1898. The cities of Kiruna and Umeå, and the harbour town of Örskär, where records began in 1898, 1858, and 1937 respectively, also all set new March records.

Gäddede and Frösön, both close to the Norwegian border in Jämtland, registered the warmest March day since 1945, while the nearby Storlien registered the warmest March day since 1881.

Dahlström said that cold wind would soon bring an end to the balmy temperatures, with snow expected on Tuesday in many of the central parts of Sweden currently enjoying unusual spring warmth. 

Last year, Sweden recorded the third-hottest June on record, with Stockholm seeing its hottest ever month.

“June 2021 was the hottest June ever recorded in my hometown Stockholm, by a large margin,” climate campaigner Greta Thunberg tweeted at the time. “The second hottest June was in 2020. The third in 2019,” she added.

“Am I sensing a pattern here? Nah, probably just another coincidence.”

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