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Air traffic disruption as Sweden freezes, minus 43.6 degrees Celsius recorded

Flights were grounded and train services disrupted due to extremely low temperatures across Northern Sweden on Thursday, while hundreds of motorists in the South had to be rescued after spending the night in their cars.

On Wednesday, the coldest January temperature seen in the country in 25 years was recorded in Kvikkjokk, Northern Sweden: minus 43.6 degrees Celsius. The cold spell is set to continue over the weekend, the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) said on Thursday.

The lingering freeze grounded airline passengers at Lulea airport in the North as it was too cold to de-ice the planes, Swedish Television (SVT) reported.

Meanwhile, train lines that had been shut down earlier in the week due to the cold remained closed to avoid the risk of passengers becoming trapped on trains in plummeting temperatures in case of power outages.

Bus routes in the North were also canceled due to the weather, SVT reported, and thousands of households have been temporarily left without electricity.

Although temperatures in the South have not been nearly as extreme, the cold weather has still caused massive disruption.

Almost 1,000 vehicles were stuck on the E22 highway in the southernmost part of Sweden due to heavy snow on Wednesday, SVT reported.

Most of the vehicles had been rescued by midday Thursday but the road is expected to remain closed until Friday morning.

According to the latest forecast from SMHI, temperatures of below minus 30 degrees are expected to last over the weekend across the North of Sweden.

Famagusta Gazette