Never before since the start of official snow measurements in 1904 there was so little snow in Sweden at the start of what is normally the start of the winter sports season.

All weather stations of the Swedish Meteorological Service (SMHI) are free of snow on Wednesday, the service announced. On Tuesday, an inch of frozen precipitation fell in Katterjakk in northern Lapland, but it melted away the same day.

Last year many of the hundreds of ski slopes in Sweden were already open in mid-October, now the slopes are green. The SMHI foresees little improvement in the short term for winter sports enthusiasts. The mercury will continue to rise and fall around freezing temperature for the next week. | © 2011 Marcel Burger for ANP News Agency (original published in Dutch, 9 November 2011)