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Sweden sees record cold as temperatures plunge below -40 deg C

In World
January 03, 2024

STOCKHOLM – Sweden on Jan 3 recorded its coldest January night in 25 years, with a reading of minus 43.6 deg C in the far north as a cold snap hit the country and neighbouring Finland.

“To put that into perspective, that is the lowest January temperature in Sweden since 1999,” Mr Mattias Lind, meteorologist at Sweden’s national weather agency SMHI, told AFP.

In January 1999, a temperature of minus 49 deg C was recorded in Sweden, which then tied the record set in 1951.

Mr Lind said that Jan 3’s measurement was made at the Kvikkjokk-Arrenjarka station in Sweden’s far north.

“It is the lowest temperature that has been recorded in this specific spot since measurements began” at the site in 1888, he said.

Several other stations recorded temperatures of below minus 40 deg C in Sweden’s northern parts.

While the region is used to seeing freezing temperatures, the recent cold snap has forced local bus operators to cancel services, and train operator Vy said on Jan 2 that it had cancelled all trains north of the city of Umea for several days.

Trains were also disrupted in neighbouring Finland, where a seasonal record of minus 38.7 deg C was recorded on the evening of Jan 2 in the northern Lapland region.

Several instances of frozen water pipes were also reported, and Finnish broadcaster YLE said around 300 people in the city of Tampere were left without running water on Jan 2.

The cold front is expected to move south over the next few days, with residents of the Finnish capital Helsinki already seeing temperatures rise to minus 15 deg C on Jan 3. AFP

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