Finland: Summer 2015 poised to be chilliest in 50 years

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Beach days have been few and far between in Finland this summer. (Riina Kasurinen/Yle)
Beach days have been few and far between in Finland this summer. (Riina Kasurinen/Yle)
In Finland, this summer is set to go down in the history books as perhaps the coldest on record – bucking the worldwide trend whereby this year brought the hottest June ever.

The mercury has exceeded 20 degrees so rarely this year that the summer of 2015 is shaping up as the chilliest in more than half a century of statistics tracked by the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI).

This summer, the temperature has only surpassed 20 degrees Celsius (68 Fahrenheit) at FMI monitoring points on 37 days. In Finnish Lapland, there have only 19 such days. As a result, this summer is set to go down in the history books as one of the coldest on record – bucking the worldwide trend whereby this year brought the hottest June ever, according to official US and Japanese climate reporting agencies.

In northern Finland, only 1962 so far as stands as a colder summer – although the summer figures are based on June through August. In Rovaniemi, capital of Finnish Lapland, there have only been two days over 20 degrees so far. However there have been slightly warmer readings along the Russian border, as well as in the Tornio River Valley on the Swedish border, FMI meteorologist Asko Hutila told Yle.

Long hot summer of ‘02

The warmest summer in Lapland and Finland in general was in 2002, when the thermometer rarely dropped below 20. There were 91 days over 20 degrees, including 72 in Lapland. The longest, warmest summer in Rovaniemi on the Arctic Circle was in 1959, when there were nearly 50 days above 20 degrees.

The FMI says that the only way this summer will not be the chilliest on record would be if there are more than 15 days over 20 degrees in August. So far the long-term forecast for south-western Finland, for instance, does not show any such days in the first week of August at least.

The hottest temperature ever recorded in Finland was almost exactly five years ago: 37.2 degrees Celsius (99 F) on 29 July 2010, at Joensuu Airport in Liperi, eastern Finland.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  Snow cover nears record low across North, Alaska Dispatch News

Europe: Icy hotspots in focus at climate talks?, Deutsche Welle’s Ice-Blog

Finland:  Climate change brings new insect arrivals to Finland, Yle News

Greenland: Field notes from Greenland – From the glacier to the sea, Blog by Mia Bennett

Norway:  UN Secretary-General to visit Norwegian Arctic, Eye on the Arctic

Russia:  Arctic methane: time bomb or “boogeyman”?, Analysis from Deutsche Welle’s Iceblogger

Sweden: Swedish waters rising faster than global average, Radio Sweden

United States:  Alaska village seeks disaster relief as walrus harvests decline drastically, Alaska Dispatch News

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