Heat waves

While definitions vary, a heat wave is a concept normally used to describe a prolonged period of warm conditions, for a specific area. In the future, heat waves may affect Sweden more often than today.

Heat waves are quite rare in Sweden compared to 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.

For cities the urban heat island effect is another important aspect. How people live and whether they have access to cooler areas such as parks, waterways and air-conditioned indoor environments are all important factors for the effects of heat waves.

Recent research has shown that warm periods lead to increased mortality even in Sweden.

Heat waves in the future

For Sweden, heat waves are likely to occur more often in the future. Researchers at the Rossby Centre at SMHI have calculated that periods with extremely hot temperatures that have occurred every 20 years on average, may occur every 3 to 5 years at the end of the century.

In southern Sweden, temperatures could reach as much as + 40 ° Celsius every 20 years.