Windswept Kiruna

Hurricane weather warning on the Swedish TV – how bad can it be, right?

While I was exploring the Swedish Lapland with my mother, we got to experience the strong northern wind in Kiruna. It started with a TV announcement about orkanvindar or hurricane winds for the next day, to which I honestly didn’t pay much attention, because how bad can it be, right?

The winds kicked in the next morning after breakfast, with shuddering, banging sounds of all unattached things around the hotel building. It looked fun and harmless enough when we first came out and picked up quite a bit during out walk across the city to the bus station. Some trains from Narvik to Kiruna got cancelled the previous day and they mistakenly notified us as well, although we only had a booking for Kiruna-Luleå, and we began to wonder whether our afternoon train would get cancelled as well.

Upon leaving one of the shops, the kind cashier lady, who had struck up a conversation with us, casually mentioned something about “staying indoors between 2 and 4 pm” due to the coming wind. That’s when we started to realise that it might be a bit more serious than we thought after all. Soon enough, standing out in the wind was no longer fun, but it was spectacular to observe. The twirling vortices, curved gusts and playful swipes of the wind were made visible by the floating snow, which got windswept off the ground and highlighted by the winter sun, as the wind show started well ahead of the actual storm. I was less impressed by the actual storm, which forced us to wait at the train station for more than 2 hours, but luckily we did manage to make it back to Luleå the same day, so all was well in the end.

You can see some short videos of the pre-storm winds below, as it was a bit hard to stand outside and film it for a long time.

You can also see me finally getting on the train after the worst of the wind has passed, but it was still pretty windy.

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