In Sweden, heatwaves are relatively rare compared with Southern Europe. However, temperatures that are considered as normal in a hotter climate can be perceived as uncomfortably hot by people adapted to a cooler climate.
Another important factor is what is known as the heat island effect in cities. How people live and the opportunities to find coolness in cities in the form of parks, watercourses and airconditioned public indoor environments are also important conditions in relation to the effects of heatwaves.
In recent years, research has shown that warm periods result in increased mortality, including in Sweden.
Heatwaves will be more common in the future
Heatwaves will probably become more common in Sweden in the future. SMHI has estimated that extreme heat events, which so far have occurred every twenty years on average, may occur every three to five years by the end of the century.
Temperatures of 40°C may occur every twenty years in southern Sweden.