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Nordic countries sizzle as European heatwave moves north

Nordic countries experienced searing temperatures as Europe's record-breaking heatwave moved north, with Norway on Saturday equalling its 1970 record, and many areas recording "tropical nights".

Nordic countries sizzle as European heatwave moves north
Gothenburg in the heat. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

Laksfors in northern Norway on Saturday recorded a temperature of 35.6 degrees Celsius, equalling the national record set in Nesbyen in 1970, the country's meteorology service said on Twitter, adding however that the Meteorological Institute needed to “double check” that the measuring station was operating properly.

The Norwegian Meteorological Institute also said it had recorded “tropical nights” in 20 different locations in southern Norway, meaning that temperatures stayed above 20 degrees throughout the night.

The tropical heat was also felt around other parts of the Nordics and in neighbouring Sweden, the most extreme heat headed straight for the country's far north.

On Friday the small town of Markusvinsa in the far north recorded a temperature of 34.8 degrees Celsius, the highest mark reached in all of Sweden so far this year.

“That's the hottest temperature in the far north since 1945 and the third highest temperature on record,” Jon Jörpeland, meteorologist at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI), told AFP.

Earlier in the week several places in Sweden also experienced “tropical nights”. 

According to Jörpeland, temperatures in the south of Sweden haven't been as extreme and it's not unusual that the mercury reaches 30 degrees a few days a year in the country, even though current temperatures are above average.

SMHI has also issued warnings for potential water shortages in August in 15 of the country's 21 counties.

The tropical heat was also being felt in other Nordic countries and heat warnings have been issued in Sweden, Norway and Finland and earlier this week Finnish police even warned motorists to be mindful of moose, who were increasingly crossing roads in search of water to quench their thirst.

The World Meteorological Organization on Thursday said forecasts indicated that atmospheric flows would transport the heat from Europe to Greenland “resulting in high temperatures and consequently enhanced melting”.

Current predictions indicate the resulting melting of ice cooled approach the record losses recorded in 2012, the organisation said, citing scientists from the Danish Meteorological Institute.

READ ALSO: Sweden heatwave: Barbecue bans and weather warnings as temperatures set to top 30°C

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WEATHER

So did Sweden beat its all-time temperature record on Thursday? Not quite

Sweden on Thursday came close to beating its 75-year-old temperature record, but fell short by just under one degree with a top temperature of 37.2C.

So did Sweden beat its all-time temperature record on Thursday? Not quite

The village of Målilla in Småland came close to beating the 38C heat record it set in 1947, logging a temperature of 37.2C. 

“It’s the highest temperature recorded in Sweden since 1947,” Mattias Lind, a meteorologist at Sweden’s state forecaster SMHI, told the country’s TT newswire. 

READ ALSO:

As the punishing heat seen across the rest of Europe briefly rose up to touch Sweden, several cities beat their own records, with Linköping setting a new record with a 36.9C temperature. The city of Jönköping, with 35.3C, recorded the highest temperature since records began in 1858. 

Even the north of Sweden saw the mercury rise above 30C, with Gävle recording a temperature of 33.5C.

Temperatures are forecast to drop significantly on Friday, sinking below 20C across the country on Saturday, with thunder storms expected in many areas. 

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