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Stockholm May heatwave only happens 'three times in a million years'

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Stockholm May heatwave only happens 'three times in a million years'
A Swedish sunset in May. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
16:46 CEST+02:00
It's no secret that Sweden experienced an exceptionally warm May in 2018, but research has now revealed just how exceptional it really was, with the consistent heat in Stockholm thought to be something which occurs only three times in a million years.

Weather stations operated by national forecaster SMHI registered many new May temperature records across the country, in some instances as much as two degrees higher than the previous record average temperature for the month.

READ ALSO: Sweden endures hottest May on record

In Stockholm the increase was even more substantial. The 16.1 degree Celsius average temperature in the Swedish capital this May was far higher than the 10.5 degrees the average for May usually falls at.

"Statistically speaking, experiencing such a high average temperature in May (16.1 degrees) happens three times every million years, so it’s unusually warm or even exceptional compared to what we usually have in May," SMHI climate researcher Gustav Strandberg explained on the agency’s official website.

The researcher analyzed some of Sweden’s oldest temperature measurements, dating back to 1756, when making his calculations.

Prior to 2018 the highest average May temperature registered in Stockholm was from 1993, when it reached 13.9 degrees. Even that average temperature isn't particularly common either, occurring only once every six hundred years – statistically speaking.

"For the record to be broken so comfortably is remarkable and this new May record could stand for a long time," Strandberg said.

READ ALSO: Snow in June? Heatwave is truly over for this town in northern Sweden

 

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