Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Temperatures headed toward -40°C in Finnish Lapland

The biting cold could impact Independence Day celebrations on Monday.
December 03, 2021


A cold wave is set to hit Finland this weekend, with temperatures expected to plunge to -40℃ in Lapland.

While the mercury dropped well below zero across all parts of Finland on Friday, a cold Arctic air mass blowing in from the Eastern and Northeastern parts of the country will lower temperatures further on Saturday and Sunday.

According to Nina Karusto, a meteorologist with Yle, Sunday will likely be the coldest day this week. Central and Southern Lapland are expected to be worst hit by the chilly weather.

“These areas could see -30℃ from Saturday onwards, and the temperature could drop from -30℃ to down to -40℃ on Sunday morning,” Karusto said.

Central parts of Finland can expect to hit -25℃ this weekend, while the mercury could fall to -15℃ in Southern Finland.

Wind chill factor makes it colder 

According to Karusto, if one is outside in these temperatures, even a very light gust of wind could make the surrounding air feel significantly colder.

“The biting wind can make the cold feel really severe, even in the south. You could add five or even ten degrees to the original temperature reading,” she stated.

The forecast indicates clear skies for nearly the entire country this weekend. The Southern coast and Southeast Finland could see snow showers arriving from the Gulf of Finland and Lake Ladoga, respectively on Sunday.

The weather is exceptionally cold for this time of the year, as Finland generally experiences such low temperatures only between January and February.

Low sun over frozen Karesuvanto, northern Finland. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Frosty Independence Day 

While Karusto is unable to provide an accurate picture of what the weather will be like this Monday, Finland’s Independence Day, she indicates it would be safe to assume that the subzero temperatures will persist.

“It is difficult to predict the temperature for that day, as the coldest air mass might have already receded towards Sweden. It could still be -30℃ in the North. You have to dress appropriately, even if your formal wear is not especially warm,” she said.

Some amount of snowfall is expected to arrive from the Southeast on Monday. Karusto estimates that Southern and Eastern Finland will see anything between 1 to 5 centimetres of snow during the day.

While the cold wave will likely carry on till the beginning of next week, the weather is expected to take a turn for the warmer in a week’s time, with temperatures set to rise above zero in Southern Finland.


This story is posted on the Barents Observer as part of Eye on the Arctic, a collaborative partnership between public and private circumpolar media organizations.



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