Snowmageddon 2.0 incoming: new blizzard alert

Brace yourselves. A new snowstorm is on its way. Sveriges meteorologiska och hydrologiska institut (SMHI) has issued a yellow warning for strong winds and snowfall along the Västerbotten coast from Wednesday. Norran reports live.

Västerbottens län 18 januari 2024 13:41

UPDATE: 15:55

Almost all of the municipality's snowplows have been working at normal capacity on Thursday, except in Lövånger and Burträsk - where the snow started falling earlier – and the local plows have been working at full capacity, says Jan Burlin, Skellefteå Municipality's operations manager for roads and streets.

– But here we have been out with the regular vehicles and plowed in critical places.

The crews have been working their regular hours, clearing all the individual streets and planning to do so again.

At 4:00 a.m. Friday morning, the plows will be out again to clear the snow that fell during the storm.

– According to the forecast, the snow is supposed to stop sometime tonight, so it makes sense to go out when it stops.

– The problem with the storm is not the precipitation, according to Burlin.

–  There isn't that much snow but it drifts. And it tends to drift to one side of the road or the other, depending on the wind.

People will soon be heading home from work and school, and Jan Burlin suggests it's time to take it easy on the roads.

– Drive carefully.

UPDATE: 15:45
It will continue to snow in the Skellefteå area during the evening and night, but as of 14:00 on Thursday, there is no longer a weather warning.

– We have made the assessment to lift it, says Marie Staerk, a meteorologist at SMHI.

She adds, however, that another five to eight centimeters of snow is expected in the Skellefteå area during the evening, and that it will taper off overnight.

– The snowfall, combined with a northerly wind and strengthening from the sea, can cause drifting on the roads, says Staerk.

UPDATE: 12:45

A single-vehicle accident has occurred on road 370 between Bolidengruvan and Renström Ö in both directions. The cause is reported to be a single-vehicle accident involving a car, according to Trafikverket.

The incident has had a significant impact on traffic, with one lane blocked. The warning was issued around noon on Thursday, and traffic is expected to be affected until 13:00.

At around 10 o'clock on Thursday morning, a major traffic accident occurred on E4 north of Bureå in the southbound direction. Three trucks and a car were involved. The road was closed in both directions during the rescue operation, and one person was taken to the hospital by ambulance.

There were a series of accidents on the E4 during the snowstorm.

In the queues in the northbound direction, another traffic accident between two cars occurred half an hour later. One person was taken to the hospital by ambulance.

Around 11:30, the road in the southbound direction was reopened, and traffic is now being rerouted. The Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) urges drivers to choose an alternative route if possible.

According to the forecast, traffic will be affected until 1 o'clock on Thursday.

UPDATE: 11:30

E4 in the northbound direction is redirected via the airport, using road 821. Southbound lanes are rerouted via Bureå.
However, road 821 has poor conditions and visibility is limited. Already at the start of the road, a small truck has driven into the ditch.

Truck slipped off road 821.

UPDATE: 11:13

Succession of accidents closed E4 in both directions near Bureå.

At around 11 o'clock, the traffic in the southbound direction on E4 was reopened. Traffic is redirected via Bureå. The road remains completely closed in the northbound direction, with a forecast to reopen around 11:30, according to the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket)

UPDATE: 11:08

Umeå kommun is frantically battling with snowplowing efforts as the city faces an orange warning from SMHI, indicating a slightly higher alert level than the yellow warning for Skellefteå, due to strong winds and heavy snowfall.

Reports of multiple traffic accidents in the southern part of the county, including on E4 south of Umeå, have been received. Västerbottens-Kuriren and Folkbladet newspapers highlight issues with newspaper deliveries.

Västernorrland is also under an orange warning and severely affected by the storm. Örnsköldsvik Airport, for instance, has been forced to close.

The yellow warning has been in effect from yesterday through Thursday noon. The weather may lead to disruption on the roads and possible delays and cancellations on public transport.

Meteorologist Charlotta Eriksson at SMHI says:

– We expect 10 to 15 centimeters of snow in the Skellefteå area. Further south, in the Umeå area, the snowfall will be even heavier, with 15 to 30 centimeters of snow.

She also notes that it will be windy, especially in the orange area further south, with strong gusts on Wednesday evening.

The warning is in effect until Thursday noon.

Länstrafiken Västerbotten expects traffic disruption on both Wednesday and Thursday, especially in the southern coastal areas. Bus services may experience delays and cancellations. Travelers are advised to stay updated via the app and the website

– The combination of wind and snowfall may cause significant drifting, especially on the E4. Heavy drifting combined with whiteouts will likely lead to disruptions, says Eriksson.

There is also an increased risk of power cuts.

– Snow and wind can force trees onto power lines.

The weather is caused by a low pressure system moving across Sweden, with Skellefteå on the northern edge of the low. With the low pressure system, milder temperatures are expected.

– It will be cloudy and the wind will stir things up a bit and usher in milder air, Eriksson adds.

On Friday, calm winds and clear weather are expected.

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