With under 10 million people, Sweden’s population is pretty tiny by international standards, but geographically it’s a fairly big place (the fourth largest country in Europe), and that becomes apparent when looking at the difference in weather between the north and the south today.
So while Stockholm drowned in snow on Wednesday, 900 kilometres to the north, Kalix was the picture of serenity, as evidenced by the light dusting on the ground in Instagram pictures taken by some of its residents.
And national forecaster SMHI's measurements show that though Stockholm had at least 20 centimeters of snow on the ground by 7am this morning, Luleå in northern Sweden only had one. Even Kiruna above the Arctic Circle only had to contend with two centimeters.
The irony of southerners complaining about the bad weather isn’t lost on the tough folks in the north, who have to deal with tricky conditions far more frequently. Here’s one Swede’s tweet comparing Stockholm (pictured on the left) and Luleå (on the right):
Snömängd i stockholm vs snömängd i luleå??? pic.twitter.com/MiPI8gB20K
— Emma Sjöberg (@emma_sjobergs) November 9, 2016
It’s not all fun and games for the north though. The snow may be fairly light, but the temperature in village Nikkaluokta in Lapland plunged to minus 27 today. And heavier snow could be on its way to northernmost county Norrbotten by Friday.
In some parts of Västerbotten meanwhile, which while not Sweden’s northernmost territory by any stretch is still 600 kilometers north of Stockholm, at least 25 centimetres of snow has settled on the ground.
And the harsh reality is that a fair amount of snow will have struck most parts of Sweden by next week, so it's only a matter of time before the northern Swedes currently taking it easy will have to contend with it too.
Something tells us they'll be able to cope, though.