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Sweden Breaks February Record High Temperature

People enjoy a sunny winter Sunday in the Western Harbour of Malmo, Sweden February 14, 2021.

Sweden’s national weather service, the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) Thursday reported a new national high temperature for February — 16.8 degrees Celsius.

The SMHI confirmed the record on its Twitter account, attributing the high temperatures to the föhnvind, a warm, dry wind that traditionally comes out of the mountains.

Record temperatures were also reported Thursday in Poland where Makow Podhalanski hit 21.7 degrees Celsius, and in Slovakia, where the southwestern city of Hurbanovo reported a high of 20.8 Celsius.

Thursday’s records come as western and central Europe is seeing something of a winter heat wave, with records falling earlier in the week in the Czech Republic, Austria, and in Germany, where on Monday, Hamburg hit 21.1 degrees Celsius — the warmest temperature recorded there in any winter month.

Some of the records that fell this week had stood for more than a century.

The heat wave comes two weeks after western and central Europe saw a frigid blast of winter, with heavy snowfalls in Britain, Germany and the Netherlands.

Washington Post meteorologist Matthew Cappucci says the region has seen the wild swing in temperatures thanks to a seesaw effect in the jet stream that earlier in the month brought freezing air down from the pole, and this week brought warm air from the south, including dust from the Sahara Desert in Africa.