May has been pretty miserable in Sweden with snow and freezing temperatures.
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May has been pretty miserable in Sweden with snow and freezing temperatures. Credit: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT
Gardening expert John Taylor with a parsnip.
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Gardening expert John Taylor with a parsnip. Credit: Sandra Neergaard-Petersen/Sveriges Radio

The Swedish town that had the coldest night in May for 70 years

TV gardening expert John Taylor: It must have hit the fruit harvest in Österlen
4:32 min

Tuesday night, May 9, was the coldest in decades for this time of year, and the cold snap is set to continue.

The university town of Uppsala experienced a night where the thermometer dropped to -5 celsius, which is the lowest temperature there in May in 70 years.

It's the lowest temperature in Uppsala since 1947, when it was - 5.5 degrees Celsius,"  Marie Staerk, meteorologist at SMHI, tells Swedish Radio News.

In Visby, on the Baltic Island of Gotland, it was -7.1 degrees, the lowest temperature since 1965 and the east coast town of Gävle's -5.6 degrees, was the lowest since 1953. And for the whole country, it is currently unusually cold for the season.

"It's because we've had a high pressure west of us and a low pressure east of us. It has caused cold north winds to bring cooler air from the Arctic Ocean, which means that it has become unusually cold in recent days," says Marie Staerk.

Wednesday and Thursday evenings will also be freezing but on Friday,  temperatures are expected to rise again, which will bring some hope to gardening enthusiasts and food producers.

Gardening expert John Taylor, who is preparing for the Malmö Flower Show, beginning 2 June, tells Radio Sweden how the chilly weather might affect fruit growers in the south of Sweden.   

The fruit harvest from Österlen must have been battered by the hail storms."


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