More warm weather across Finland after record-breaking summer

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A sweltering day at Yyteri Beach in Pori, southwest Finland. (Carolus Manninen/Yle)
The first week of September began where August left off – with unusually warm weather. Temperatures will exceed 20 degrees Celsius over the next few days in Southern Finland, perhaps rising as high as 24 degrees, says Yle meteorologist Joonas Koskela.

Finnish Lapland (north) was also expected to be warm on Monday, but then the mercury will dip to around 10-15 degrees by Wednesday. On Tuesday, northern Finland could get some rain.

“Still, we’re not talking about real autumn, even in Lapland. This is still warm, variable summer weather,” says Koskela, adding that the only typical sign of autumn so far is morning fog.

If a warm front moves in from the southeast as expected, southern Finland could see unseasonably balmy readings of 22-23 degrees on Wednesday and even 24 on Thursday.

Record year expected

Meanwhile data out from the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) on Monday confirms that the past four months have been the hottest summer season on record in the country – as they have been in many parts of the northern hemisphere, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

The national average temperature for May through August was 0.3 degrees higher than the previous record set in 1937.

Readings from June through August were about two degrees warmer than usual. Such summers typically only occur in Finland once in every two or three decades.

Some locations set all-time records. At Helsinki’s Kaisaniemi weather station, this summer’s average matched that of 2011 as the hottest in 174 years of record-keeping. At the Tähtelä station in Sodankylä, Finnish Lapland, this was the second-warmest summer in 118 years of recorded history, second only to 1937.

This year’s highest reading, 33.7 C, was measured in the west-coast city of Vaasa on 18 July. That was second-highest peak in at least six decades. The only confirmed higher temperature was 37.2, recorded in Joensuu, eastern Finland, in July 2010.

Lapland escaped drought

The litany of records goes on. There have been 63 days over 25 degrees in Finland this year, exceeded only by 65 in 2002. The FMI points out that there could still be more over-25 days in September.

The highest incidence of such hot days was in the south-central town of Heinola, which racked up 46.

The June-through-August period was drier than usual in the western half of the land. In particular the areas from the Åland islands to central Finland only received about half as much rain as usual. The south-west was especially hard-hit, with some areas getting no precipitation for more than a month beginning in May.

FMI figures show that August was 1-3 degrees warmer than average. The biggest anomaly was in the east. While the west had an exceptionally dry month, northern areas received more rain than the long-term mean. Some parts of Northern Lapland received twice as much moisture as in a typical August.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Warm water under Arctic ice a ‘ticking time bomb,’ researcher says, CBC News

Finland: Finnish researcher’s animation shows climate warming at startling speed, YLE News

Norway: Arctic Europe’s July records melted under extreme temperatures, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russian and American scientists team up to study Arctic Russia’s weakening sea ice, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Hot, arid summer guts a third of Sweden’s cereal harvest, Radio Sweden

United States: Rapid Arctic warming is increasing the frequency of blizzards in U.S. Northeast: study, Radio Canada International

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