Blizzard freezes travel plans in Sweden

A Baltic blizzard in Sweden has affected travel plans, with the cold spell also strengthening in several other parts of Europe.

Travellers have had to battle against wind and snow, and residents are having a difficult time coping with the conditions in Stockholm. The first week of meteorological winter brought continued cold and snow to many areas of central and northern Europe. In some places, conditions are said to be severe and lasting.

Sweden appears to be the worst affected, with the strong Baltic storms bringing up to 40cms of snow to the nation’s streets. Blizzards broke out in central and eastern parts of the country on Wednesday, and figures show that at least eight inches of snow fell in Stockholm. The end result was that the downfall seriously affected public transport in the Swedish capital and grounded most of the air traffic in and out of the country’s busiest airports. Power was also disrupted, and it is believed that about 6,000 people lost electricity in the Stockholm region as temperatures failed to climb above zero throughout the day.

Travel plans have been seriously affected, even those of high-ranking delegates and Nobel Prize laureates, who have been delayed because of the unexpected turn of events. The heavy snowfall prompted Sweden’s Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) to issue a class 2 storm warning on Wednesday. The department said that it has recorded gusts of wind that reached between 35-40 mph in east-central Sweden.

The department said that the meteorological development that brings arctic air into central Europe would push daytime temperatures below freezing in Stockholm and southern Sweden throughout the weekend. The effect is also expected in France and Germany and parts of Eastern Europe.