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IN PICTURES: Schools and trains cancelled as snowdrifts trouble parts of Sweden

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IN PICTURES: Schools and trains cancelled as snowdrifts trouble parts of Sweden
Sundsvall. Photo: Sofia Mirjamsdotter
15:11 CET+01:00
A wave of heavy snow in central and northern Sweden has caused trains to be cancelled and schools to close as even Swedes accustomed to tougher conditions struggle to beat the elements.

National forecaster SMHI has put a class two weather warning (the middle category on a scale from one to three) in place in Västernorrland and Gävleborg where between 30 and 50 centimetres of snow was predicted to fall on Thursday, adding to the significant amount already on the ground.

"It's crazy. I've lived here all my life and seen a lot of different weather conditions, but this is crazy. I can't see out my windows," Sundsvall resident Sofia Mirjamsdotter told The Local.

"It's crazier than normal, the snow and wind at the same time. We've already had enough snow – nobody wants to leave the house," Christoffer Källström, who lives just north of the city in nearby Härnösand, commented.


Photo: Christoffer Källström

Most schools in Hudiksvall and Sundsvall municipality are closed due to the weather – an uncommon occurrence in Sweden, where kids are used to going to school in snowy conditions. Sundsvall municipality has recommended residents should not drive unless necessary, and all public transport in Västernorrland county is cancelled until Thursday evening.

Adding to the problem is strong winds, which create snow drifts and poor visibility.

"I've seen this weather when I've been skiing but never this close to home. It's still warm which makes it very weird. It's in the top three of worst snow storms I've experienced," Källström noted.


Photo: Christoffer Källström


Photo: Sofia Mirjamsdotter

The Swedes were typically stoic when asked if they can handle with the conditions.

"Absolutely, we can handle it. I'm planning on taking a walk later on," Mirjamsdotter said.

"If you've dressed for it then you will be fine outside, it's just windy. The snow is unpredictable: some areas are two centimetres deep, but some places are 50," Källström added.

The main train line between Sundsvall and Umeå is completely closed from Thursday morning until 5am on Friday, the Swedish Transport Administration said.

Hudiksvall and Gävle have even called in all terrain vehicles – military grade gear – in order to transport emergency services staff around the areas if necessary.

Additional reporting by Alex Dudley.

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