The heatwave is caused in part by jet streams separating cold air moving toward Europe from the north, and the warm air from southern Europe moving north, Ulrica Sievert, from the Sweden’s meteorological agency (SMHI) told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.
“The jet stream is running between Iceland and the British Isles and then further towards southern Norway and Sweden,” Sievert said. “This means that the jet stream is relatively northerly right now and it is holding the polar air to the north of Great Britain.”
The jet stream brings heatwaves to southern Europe, while northern Europe receives rain and and cooler summers.
Climate change is upsetting the balance of the polar jet stream, Matthew Osman, a researcher at the Climate Systems Center at the University of Arizona, told the Business Insider website last year.
The warm air that has so far been restricted to southern Europe is moving further north now, towards Sweden, where temperatures are expected to hit highs of up to 35C on Wednesday. This heat is expected to be short-lived, with temperatures dropping again on Thursday.
While today is expected to be sunny and warm, tomorrow will be hot, meteorologist I. Dahlström wrote today on SMHI’s website. Expected temperatures range from 28C in parts of Skåne to 35C in Götaland, Svealand and southern Norrland. Friday will see the return of cooler air across the country, with rain also expected.
Swedish authorities recommend staying hydrated and adding more salt to food as a way to beat the heat and avoid dehydration. They also recommend avoiding physical work during the warmest part of the day, and suggest cold showers and loose clothes made from natural fibres as ways to keep cool.