Parts of Sweden to get a month’s worth of rain in a single day

Sweden's meteorological institute, SMHI, has warned that torrential rain will hit large parts of the country on Friday, with parts of the country getting a month's worth of rain in a single day.

Parts of Sweden to get a month's worth of rain in a single day
File photo of storms in Malmö earlier this year. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

The forecaster on Friday issued a yellow warning – the lowest level on a three-point scale – for an area stretching over most of Sweden. The areas where heavy downpours are forecast includes Götaland, which goes from Malmö and Gothenburg, in the south, Svealand in the middle of Sweden ( with the exception of east coast areas such as Stockholm), and southern Norrland between Gävle to Östersund.

“It’s quite a large warning area,” SMHI meteorologist Charlotta Eriksson told TT. “It’s larger than what we would usually announce.”

“There won’t be heavy rain in the whole area and there won’t be consequences everywhere, but that’s where the largest risks are”.

From Friday afternoon into the evening and early Saturday morning, there is a high risk of torrential rains and strong thunder.

“In this area there could be a lot of downpours and a risk of torrential rain which could cause flooding at viaducts, for example,” she said.

The strongest downpours could see up to 70 millimetres of rain falling in some areas.

“That’s about what we’d usually see during a normal – or what used to be normal – August, because it’s become more common to see large amounts of torrential rain like this now,” she said.

A yellow warning means that there are risks to infrastructure and some risks to the public.

“This time it’s mainly a warning for cities, where the water can’t drain away. There will be the same amount of rain in other areas, but it won’t be as noticeable there.”

The weather is expected to improve on Saturday morning, Eriksson said.

“It will get worse this afternoon, move further north during the evening and start to lessen from the south. When it reaches Norrland, it won’t be as strong.”

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Floods as Swedish cities get two months of rain in 24 hours

Large areas of Sweden saw extreme levels of rain over the weekend, with the city of Linköping receiving more than 100mm of rain in 24 hours, twice as it usually receives in the whole of August. 

Floods as Swedish cities get two months of rain in 24 hours

According to Swedish weather forecaster SMHI, the Linköping-Malmslätt area received 96mm between Saturday night at 8am on Sunday morning. The area normally received between 60mm and 70mm in August as a whole. 

“There was such an absurd amount of rain that the data was at first rejected by our system,” Therese Fougman, a meteorologist at the forecaster, told Sweden’s TT newswire. “It is continuing to rain during the day, and it is lying in a band over Östergötland, Sörmland och further up towards Uppland, predicting there would be a further 40mm to 50mm in the next 12 hours. 

The downpours have led to flooding in several areas, and caused traffic problem with cars at risk of aquaplaning on roads such as the E18, which were covered in a thick layer of water. 

Lennart Ågren, who was the duty leader of rescue services in Östra Götaland, told TT on Sunday afternoon that rescuers had been called out to several floods in Linköping and Mantorp. 

“There were streets under water, and water was running into properties so we had to throw all our resources at it for several hours,” he said. 

In Jönköping, rescue services were called out to flooding at a school and in other places, while in Växjö, lightening hit close to the place where a student party was being held at the local university campus. 

In Linköping, rescue services told TT that they had been called out 30 times. “We’ve been stretched but have managed to handle it,” said Pedher Helmer, who was in charge of rescue services in Östergötland over the weekend. 

The heavy rain is expected to move to Blekinge, Skåne, Öland and Gotland over the coming days, with a risk for flooding.