Flood Warning Issued For Parts of Sweden

Torrential rain is something Swedes can expect for their main national holiday of the year, Midsummer, which takes place on Friday. The Midsummer weather is the main topic of conversation this week. Usually though, the weather before Midsummer is generally warm, as you'd expect in June, it is after all summer.

But, the fact that a flood warning has been issued for central Sweden will give you some indication of the type of weather Swedes have been experiencing in some parts of the country. It's not only rainy, it's cold.

So cold in fact that parts of Sweden have experienced one of the coldest and wettest early summers in recent memory. Not a heart-warming tale for a nation which lives for the short period of daylight-filled Summer months after the long dark Winter.

The Swedish weather service, SMHI, says in June many parts of the country have had average daily temperatures of a little under 10 degrees Celsius, that's 50 Fahrenheit. And those living in SMHI's headquarters Norrköping, just southwest of Stockholm, haven't experienced such a cold start to the summer in 50 years!

And it had all started so well, with temperatures reaching 30 Celsius during the Pentacost, or Whitsun, holiday weekend. On Sunday, SMHI issued a class 1 warning, that's its lowest flood warning, for the city of Uppsala, the provinces of Västmanland and Dalarna and the county of Gävleborg.

40-75 millimetres of rain fell in those areas over the weekend while in the capital Stockholm where it rained for three days non-stop, the total precipitation came to a full decimetre, that's nearly 4 inches.

The rain has not affected the whole country, people in the south have been enjoying mostly sunny weather, and that sunshine is set to finally move north, bringing a glimmer of hope for people in central and northern Sweden. But for Friday, which kicks of the big Midsummer holiday weekend, the weather service says half the country, the south, will be able to picnic on the traditional herring and potatoes under blue skies, while those in the north will have to celebrate under an umbrella.