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New sun record in Kiruna - but Stockholm has never been this grey

Published söndag 30 november 2014 kl 14.53
Sunset over the Loussavaaraslope in Kiruna. Photo: Pi Frisk/SvD/TT
Sunset over the Loussavaaraslope in Kiruna. Photo: Pi Frisk/SvD/TT

In southern Sweden, this November will go down in the history books as the greyest in a long time. But Kiruna has hit a new record: in the number of hours of sun.

The Swedish Met Office has published preliminary figures up and including Saturday. For Stockholm it looks like it could be a new now, with only five hours of sun during the whole month. The previous record is eight hours for the whole month. Växjö in the south long looked like it would hit a new record low, below the previous one in 1993, of only five hours. But the last few days have improved things a bit and as Saturday drew to a close, Växjö had had eight hours of sun in all of November.

But in Kiruna, people don't understand all that talk of a grey November. There a new top record has been hit, with 42 hours of sun, which beats the old record from 2008, of 40 hours of sun. And Storlien, further south, has had 52 hours of sun in November.

Hang on, someone may say, Kiruna is way above the Arctic circle and has hardly any sun at all this time of the year. And right they would be. Today, on the last of November, sunrise was at 10.08 am and sunset at 12.48 pm, a barely 2 hours and 42 minutes of daylight. A mere glimmer of light on the horizon as some would say.

But if you live that far north, you learn that the sun doesn't have to be - per definition - "up" for the sky to brighten up. Combine that with the snow (currently at about 15 centimetres) it is brighter than you may expect. But a new sun record probably helps as well.

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