No end in sight for Helsinki’s record, month-long drought

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Helsinki has broken a 71-year-old drought record by going 30 days without rain. In this picture, people walk at the Esplanade in Helsinki in 2017. (Ints Kalnins/Reuters)
The Finnish capital Helsinki has had no rain for 30 days, a record-breaking dry spell for the Kaisaniemi weather station. The second-longest drought at Kaisaniemi occurred in 1947, when there was less than 0.1 milimetres of precipitation for 29 days in a row.

“There’s no end in sight to the dry spell,” said Yle meteorologist Matti Huutonen. “Some isolated light showers might turn up but in practice it’s still dry.”

Kaisaniemi weather station has recorded observations about weather conditions in the capital since the 1800s. Other weather stations have recorded longer stretches of dry spells, but according to Niina Niinimäki of the Finnish Meteorological Institute their measurements are not as accurate as the ones taken at Kaisaniemi.

Finland has also just experienced the warmest May in more than 30 years and 13 days of temperatures above 25 degrees Celsius. That’s officially regarded as ‘hot’ in Finland, with meteorologists and most residents eagerly tracking and awaiting summertime’s so-called ‘hellepäivät’ (hot days).

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Canada announces new climate change ambassador, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: Finnish forest fire sparked by sunbeam through bottle in bone-dry weather, YLE News

Norway: Norway’s Arctic islands crush May heat records, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Record heatwave in the Arctic, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Scientists in Sweden help Indian farmers with artificial glaciers, Radio Sweden

United States: Warming, fires, warming, fires: How tundra wildfires could create an unstoppable cycle, Alaska Dispatch News

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