Swedish weather agency warns of extreme heat across most of the country

Sweden's weather agency has warned of hot temperatures forecast for most of the country over the coming days, which mean vulnerable people should take precautions not to fall ill.

Swedish weather agency warns of extreme heat across most of the country
Much of southern Sweden can expect temperatures of around 30C, and high humidity levels, this week. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

SMHI; the meteorological agency, issues these messages when there is a maximum daily temperature of at least 26C for three days in a row.

The message applies to most of the south and east of the country, facing extreme heat of around 30C — an area covering 32 of Sweden’s 40 ‘weather regions’, including all three major city regions of Stockholm, Skåne and Västra Götaland.

The purpose of the heat warning is to encourage residents to take precautions to avoid falling ill in heat which is unusual to Sweden. That means taking measures to cool down your home, avoiding being out in the sun during the hottest part of the day, and cooling down with lots of fluids, for example.

People who are medically vulnerable, including the elderly and those with certain health conditions, are most at risk due to high temperatures, so the warnings are also directed at caregivers.

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Swedish towns set record for warmest March weekend

Several places around Sweden broke temperature records over the weekend, as unusually warm weather for March bathed the northern half of the country.

Swedish towns set record for warmest March weekend

Torpshammar, near Sundsvall in Västernorrland, on Sunday recorded a temperature of 16.8C.

This was the highest temperature registered anywhere in the country so far this year, although Gävle and Delsbo in Gävleborg were close behind, with both recording a temperature of 16.7C. 

“It’s been warm across the country, but it’s been mostly in the middle and north of Norrland that we’ve had temperatures that are a long way above normal,” Ida Dahlström, a meteorologist with state weather forecaster SMHI, told the TT newswire.

For Delsbo 16.7C is the highest temperature recorded in March since records began in 1898. The cities of Kiruna and Umeå, and the harbour town of Örskär, where records began in 1898, 1858, and 1937 respectively, also all set new March records.

Gäddede and Frösön, both close to the Norwegian border in Jämtland, registered the warmest March day since 1945, while the nearby Storlien registered the warmest March day since 1881.

Dahlström said that cold wind would soon bring an end to the balmy temperatures, with snow expected on Tuesday in many of the central parts of Sweden currently enjoying unusual spring warmth. 

Last year, Sweden recorded the third-hottest June on record, with Stockholm seeing its hottest ever month.

“June 2021 was the hottest June ever recorded in my hometown Stockholm, by a large margin,” climate campaigner Greta Thunberg tweeted at the time. “The second hottest June was in 2020. The third in 2019,” she added.

“Am I sensing a pattern here? Nah, probably just another coincidence.”