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Snowstorms and extreme cold

Extreme cold can lead to problems during power cuts and when the heating isn’t working. Keep informed about weather forecasts and weather warnings and be prepared for wintry road conditions.
Photo: Johan Eklund/MSB.

Sweden can get very cold. During the winter months, sub-zero temperatures are common, and in northern Sweden, it can get as low as -20 degrees or colder. Housing, electrical systems and water supplies are adapted to these low temperatures, and houses are built to maintain the heat on the inside even when it is very cold outside.

Extreme cold can still lead to problems during power cuts and when the heating isn’t working. Cold, especially in connection with severe winds, means a risk of frostbite. Make sure to dress warm and wear layers to protect yourself against the wind and cold.

Check weather forecasts and warnings

Keep informed about weather forecasts and weather warnings from the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, SMHI. When the weather is particularly severe, the authorities can instruct the public not to drive. Public transport might also be cancelled.

Driving in winter traffic

If you’re driving in winter, it’s good to have:

  • A charged mobile phone
  • A blanket and warm clothes
  • Something to eat and drink
  • A torch
  • A high-visibility vest

In Sweden, all vehicles must according to law have snow tyres between 1 December and 31 March during wintry road conditions, in other words, if there is snow, ice, slush or frost on any part of the road. Read more about snow tyres at the Swedish Transport Agency ("Transportstyrelsen").

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