Image via Finish Meteorological Institute
No need to take out the sunscreen just yet. The weather forecast for next week calls for great October weather… in May.
Southern Finland will face the beginning of the week in chilly conditions. Cold breezes from the Arctic Ocean will sweep through the country on Monday and Tuesday, which could develop into, we’re sorry to say, sleet and hail showers.
Yle meteorologist Kerttu Kotakorpi says this cold spell is in stark contrast to previous years.
”With temperatures at five degrees at best in the south, we can definitely talk about an exceptionally cold period for this time of year.”
This time last year Finland basked in sunshine and temperatures between 20 and 25 degrees.
Image via AAMULEHTI
Thursday’s press review begins with an article from Aamulehti out of Tampere, asking a meteorologist for a reasonable explanation for the unreasonably cold weather Finland has had to endure this spring. Erik Saarika of the Finnish Meteorological Institute says the reason lies one kilometre above us in the atmosphere, where temperatures have been colder in April and May than they were last winter.
“Atmospheric temperatures are topsy-turvy. At this time of the year, the warmth of the sun is so abundant that it compensates for the air’s coolness, but the cold has still made itself manifest as snow, even in the afternoon. In the winter it was so warm that it rained instead,” Saarika told the paper.
This strange situation has led to it being impossible to tell what time of the year it is by looking out the window. Is it fall, winter or spring? In Tampere, the paper states, the average temperature on New Year’s Eve was 3.6 degrees Celsius, and on May 8, it was 1.7 degrees.
And even if the sun can potentially warm things back up, heavy clouds have persisted in blocking the sun in the last few months. Saarika says that many mornings have started off clear, but the skies have turned more overcast as the days have progressed, often bringing precipitation.
Sunshine statistics from the Institute show that Finland had 20 hours less sunshine in April 2017 than the 30-year average. But the weather service assures the shivering masses that things will get better: next week should see daytime temperatures of over 15 degrees Celsius in the south.
A late spring is better than an early summer – if you’re a bird…or a blueberry bush
Unseasonably cold weather is keeping birds from nesting and delaying the blossoming of wild berry bushes in Finland’s north…
There is still plenty of snow in the forests of Lapland, and there is ice on many of its lakes and rivers. Spring has inched forward slowly and temperatures, especially at night, are frigid. Right now, the weather in Lapland is 4C-5C below the long-term average.
The cold is being reflected in the late arrival of migratory birds. According to Jukka Jokimäki, a researcher at the University of Lapland’s Arctic Centre, the institution’s annual count of migratory birds is now on hold because so few have come as far north as the Arctic Circle.
“At the beginning of April it looked like we’d have an early spring, but migration has been at a standstill and is around a week and a half late. Wagtails are the only insect eaters being seen. Wading birds are missing altogether, which is understandable since all of our ponds and lakes are still covered by ice,” reports Jokimäki.
“If we consider this in a positive light, a late cold snap is unlikely to be a problem because the birds haven’t yet started nesting. It’s been winter-like all spring and, for example, game fowl haven’t been able to start nesting because there is still over 50cm of snow in the forests in the Rovaniemi area,” Jokimäki points out.
Cold temperatures have also impacted vegetation, delaying the start of the growing season. On the other hand, this may result in a more bountiful crop of wild berries come the autumn, says Rainer Peltola of the Natural Resources Institute.
“This is not a bad thing at all. The later that [berry bushes] start blooming, the less the risk of frost, and the greater the probability that the crucial phase of pollination takes place.”