Sweden faces coldest weather in 25 years

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Sweden on Wednesday recorded its coldest January night in 25 years, with a reading of minus 43.6 degrees Celsius in the far north as a cold snap hit the Nordics.

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

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In January 1999, a temperature of minus 49 degrees Celsius (minus 56.2 Fahrenheit) was recorded in Sweden, which tied the record set in 1951.

Lind said that Wednesday’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” in 1888, he said.

Several other stations recorded temperatures of below minus 40C in Sweden’s north.

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

Trains were also disrupted in neighboring Finland, where a seasonal record of minus 38.7 Celsius was recorded Tuesday evening in the northern Lapland region.

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

The cold front is expected to move south over the next few days, with the Finnish capital Helsinki already seeing temperatures falling to minus 15C on Wednesday.

But despite colder temperatures being expected tomorrow, some of the capital’s residents were unfazed by the prospect.

“I’m really loving it. It’s a mindset thing I guess,” Katja, a woman in Helsinki, told AFP on Wednesday.

“It’s all about the clothing,” she said, wearing a thick black winter jacket with the hood pulled over her head.

“Yeah, just a lot of clothes and the attitude, like it’s going to be cold but it’s beautiful,” her friend Nita agreed as snow fell.

The extreme cold is also expected to hit Norway towards the end of the week, with temperatures in Oslo potentially falling to minus 27C this weekend, according to the national weather service.

Heavy snowfall has already impacted the south of the country with school closures and canceled flights.

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