Historic cold spell hits Scandinavia, Sweden records its coldest December day in 35 years


A historic cold spell is affecting Scandinavia, bringing unusually cold temperatures for the time of year.

With a temperature of -43.8 °C (-46.8 °F) registered in Naimakka in northern Lapland on Monday, December 6, 2021, Sweden recorded its coldest December day since December 1, 1986.1

For Naimakka, this is the coldest December temperature since 1944 when their records keeping began. The settlement's all-time cold temperature record is -48.9 °C (-56 °F) registered in 1999.

-43.8 °C is also the lowest temperature ever recorded in Sweden so early in the season since 1945.

The neighboring station Karesuando recorded -41.9 °C (-43.4 °F) on December 6 before the temperature values ​​stopped coming in, according to Sweden’s national weather agency SMHI.

For this station, it was the coldest December temperature since 1915 when the temperatures dropped to -42 °C (-43.6 °F). The only times when a temperature of at least -40 °C (-40 °F) was measured in Karesuando in December are 1885, 1898, 1915, 1919, 1969, and 1986. 

In Nikkaluokta, the temperature dropped below -40 °C, with -40.5 °C (-40.9 °F) as the lowest on Monday morning.

Sweden's all-time cold temperature record is -52.6 °C (-62.7 °F) registered on February 2, 1966, in Vuoggatjålme, Lapland.

However, it is debated whether it was correctly recorded, so Sweden usually uses the runner-up, -48.9 °C (-56 °F) at Hemavaan on December 30, 1978.2


1 Nytt köldrekord för december i Naimakka – SMHI

2 Tiny Swedish settlement sets new record as temperature plummets to -43.8C – The Local

Featured image credit: WXCharts


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