Avalanche warning for northern Sweden

Mountain areas in northern Sweden have been put on high alert for avalanches.

Avalanche warning for northern Sweden
An avalanche warning sign in Sweden. Photo: Mats

The highest likelihood of avalanches is in Abisko/Riksgränsen, close to Sweden's northern border with Norway where a level four (on a scale with a maximum five) alert was issued by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday morning.

Large so-called wind slab avalanches, caused by drifting snow, are deemed 'very likely' in alpine areas.

Wet slab avalanches, formed when the snow melts, are 'possible' at the treeline and further down.

The agency warned people to steer clear of the mountainous area which is popular among off-piste skiiers on Wednesday.

“We advise against being in avalanche terrain and in all areas beneath steep hillsides. Rain and heavy wet snow often trigger avalanches. We believe that many natural avalances are likely on all steep slopes where the rain falls, initially in the top snow layers,” it wrote on its website.

Lower alerts were also issued further south in Sweden, in the Hemavan/Tärnaby (level three – considerable risk of avalanches) and Storulvån/Åre/Bydalen (level two – moderate risk of avalanches) areas.

The warning comes as Italian rescue workers continue their work to recover bodies after an avalanche swamped a mountain hotel in the Abruzzo region, killing at least 23 people. Follow our sister site The Local Italy for the latest.

Riksgränsen on Google Maps: