Between five and ten centimetres of snow fell in the Swedish capital overnight, and even more is expected to come, said meteorologists at national weather institute SMHI.
“The snowfall will continue throughout the day and won't subside until late tonight,” meteorologist Sandra Andersson told the TT news agency early on Wednesday morning.
The capital was hit by a weather phenomenon known in Swedish as 'snökanoner' or 'snow cannons' (yes, like the ones used at ski resorts). In English it is called lake-effect snow and is a rapid deposit of snow caused when a cold air mass moves across an expanse of warmer water.
The heavy snowfall mainly stretched along the east coast from Gävle down to Stockholm and the Södermanland region, as well as southern regions Skåne and Blekinge, and traffic authorities warned of difficult conditions on the roads across Sweden.
“We're getting a lot of reports of people going off the road and cars standing still,” said Lena Karlsson, press spokesperson for Trafikverket.
Stockholm public transport operator SL warned of delays on buses and metro on Wednesday morning. In central Stockholm all buses apart from 1-4 were cancelled.
Snow in Stockholm on Wednesday morning. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT
Skåne and Blekinge meanwhile got their first taste of the snow.
“We don't expect as much snow as on the east coast. But it's the first snowfall of the season so we have issued a class-one warning,” said Andersson.
However, as The Local reported yesterday, in most of Sweden it is actually still autumn.
“The first bit of winter came to Sweden a while ago but it hasn't hit the whole country,” said Andersson on Tuesday.
In meteorological terms, Sweden defines winter as when the average temperature stays at 0C or lower for five days in a row. That means that while most of northernmost province Norrland and some parts of central province Svealand are officially in winter, other parts of the country are not.
So it isn't truly winter in Stockholm or south of the capital yet, according to SMHI's map of where the season has taken hold.