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Finland and Sweden set this winter's cold records as temperature plummets below minus 40

Posted at 7:47 AM, Jan 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-02 09:47:18-05

HELSINKI (AP) — Finland and Sweden recorded the coldest temperatures of the winter Tuesday as thermometers plummeted to minus 40 degrees Celsius (minus 40 Fahrenheit) as a result of a cold spell prevailing in the Nordic region.

In Nikkaluokta, a small village inhabited by the indigenous Sami people in northern Sweden, thermometer showed minus 41.6 degrees (minus 42.8 Fahrenheit) early Tuesday, Swedish public broadcaster SVT reported.

“It’s the coldest temperature we have had so far this winter, and it will continue to be quite cold weather in the north,” said SVT meteorologist Nils Holmqvist.

Train operators in Sweden said the cold snap has caused substantial problems for rail traffic in the north, among other issues. The Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute has reported temperatures of minus 30 degrees (minus 22 Fahrenheit) in several locations in northern Sweden.

It also issued a warning for snow and wind for central and southern Sweden, saying snowfall on Wednesday in combination with wind can cause problems. Its second-highest warning applies from midnight into Wednesday.

In neighboring Finland, this winter’s cold record was recorded in the northwestern town of Ylivieska where temperatures fell to minus 37.8 (minus 36) early Tuesday.

Temperatures of below minus 30 degrees were recorded at several locations in the Arctic Lapland region. The Finnish capital, Helsinki, was also under a cold spell with temperature expected to hover between minus 15 and minus 20 degrees throughout this week.

The Finnish Meteorological Institute has issued a warning of substantially cold weather prevailing in the country this week, and forecast temperatures were likely to exceed minus 40 degrees in parts of the nation.

A section of the E18 highway in southern Norway was closed due to a weather-related situation, police said on X.

In Denmark, a key bridge was closed to vehicles with light trailers because of strong winds that can affect driving, the Danish Road Directorate said.


Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark, contributed to this report.

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