Southern Sweden braced for 100km/h hour winds as Storm Malik sweeps in

Rescue authorities on the West coast of Sweden were on Saturday braced for the arrival of Storm Malik, which has already pummelled the UK with winds of up to 100kph, with one woman killed by a falling tree.

Southern Sweden braced for 100km/h hour winds as Storm Malik sweeps in
A woman struggles with an umbrella in Malmö on Saturday afternoon as Storm Malik arrives. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

The emergency services have called in extra staff in southern Sweden to deal with the expected accidents involving falling trees, flying objects, and cars blown off the road. The Swedish Transport Association is warning of traffic disruptions, and police in several areas are warning people to avoid travelling if possible.

“Anyone going out in the traffic when the wind is really starting to blow should ask themselves whether their journey can wait to minimise the risk of accidents,” wrote police in Kronoberg County.

Sweden’s state weather forecaster SMHI has issued an orange weather warning for most of the west coast, Skåne and southern Småland.

“So far it’s still relatively calm, with little more than a few gusts, but in the evening and especially at night, the area of low pressure is going to worsen, bringing winds of 30m/s (110 km/h) and more,” said Moa Hallberg, the forecaster’s meteorologist, at lunchtime on Saturday.

Jonas Hemert, operations chief for the rescue services in Northwest Skåne warned of a very rough sea which he warned could batter coastal areas.

“We have an exposed position and the water levels might rise by 1.5 meters, and the waves could be up to three meters high,” he said.

Patric Nilsson, operations chief with the rescue services for Southern Sweden, said he had called in staff to deal with the more than 100 more calls than normal on Saturday.  

A sign at the Hylliebadet swimming pool in Malmö warns customers of early closing due to the storm. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

The storm is expected to move up onto the east coast of the country by Sunday morning.

“In the east, we’ve got colder air, so the rain is expected to be replaced by snow, and we’ve issued a warning of snow combined with wind for the coasts of Uppland and Roslagen,” Hallberg said.

The German company E.on, which operates the network over much of southern Sweden, said that it was predicted that damage to the network might cause power cuts, but it said it would not come out to bring people back online until the storm was over, focusing instead on life-threatening situations.

“With the kinds of wind speed SMHI is warning about, it would quite simply be dangerous to send engineers out into the field,” said Peter Hjalmar, the company’s chief for southern Sweden in a press message. “We are going to focus on handled acute situations, which present a danger to the lives or health of the public.”

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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.”