Stockholm’s cherry trees are in bloom – what happened to winter?

Stockholm's cherry trees are in bloom – what happened to winter?
Cherry blossoms in Stockholm's Kungsträdgården park. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT
Stockholm's iconic cherry blossoms are starting to bloom – months ahead of schedule – after a mild winter set temperature records in several Swedish cities. Is it ever going to get properly cold in the capital this year?

An unusually warm winter saw some weather stations in southern Norrland reach their highest January temperatures since 1971 last week. And on Thursday the mercury hit 10.5C in Örebro – the hottest January day in the central Swedish city since 1858.

Southern Sweden, including Gothenburg, Skåne, Blekinge, Gotland and parts of the Småland and Halland regions, have not even had a meteorological winter yet this year – when the average daily temperature stays below freezing for five consecutive days – according to weather agency SMHI.

And Stockholmers can count the number of snow days this winter on one hand. The Swedish capital has seen a couple of cold snaps since the autumn, but few longer periods of freezing temperatures.

So one might ask, is it ever going to get properly cold this winter?


The cherry trees in Stockholm usually bloom in April. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

“The weather won't change much, we will keep having mild air coming and going,” SMHI meteorologist Jon Jörpeland told the TT newswire on Sunday, adding that there is a small chance that temperatures will drop.

“The coldest period is usually the end of January and the beginning of February, so we have a few weeks to go,” he said.

Meteorologists say the warm winter is due to a low pressure front moving in from the Atlantic as mild air passes through Sweden, which has caused some plants to start budding far earlier than normal.

But there are no clear links to climate change, according to Jörpeland.

“We're still talking about weather, we have had mild winters before,” he told TT.


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