Polar vortex behind Finland’s cold weather

Raanujärvi Lake in Finland's Arctic Lapland region. February 2013. (Eelis Pulkkinen. Yle)Researchers say that recent cold weather in Finland is because of a polar vortex pushing colder air currents across the country from the North.

The Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) says the icy blast is down to a large-scale low pressure system located 15-25 kilometres high in the stratosphere.

It is currently centred just north of Finland over the Arctic Ocean. According to FMI researcher Jari Tuovinen, the system shifts location over time.

Arctic Centre researcher Bruce Forbes has previously told Yle News that warm air is drawn into the polar vortex, slowing it down. That causes colder air to flow on its periphery, spreading over the area close to the vortex.

The vortex is expected to unwind towards the end of March or beginning of April, when the sun has begun to warm the northernmost parts of the globe.

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