Blowing snow reduces visibility in southern Finland

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The front of snowy and windy weather is expected to last until Saturday. (Derrick Frilund/Yle)
A motor accident involving several cars near Lohja has stopped traffic on Finland’s motorway connecting Helsinki and Turku. The Finnish Meteorological Institute predicts strong winds and tens centimetres of snow in the south yet Wednesday night.

A multi-car accident blocked traffic on the Helsinki-Turku highway Wednesday at around 5:30 pm Wednesday evening, as several cars clogged the motorway between Vihti’s Muijala exit and Lohja’s Lempola exit. A container truck is also lying in the ditch after having run off the road. The police have reported that one person was sent to hospital with injuries.

The weather in the accident area is very bad, as it is throughout most of southern Finland. Winds of up to 30 metres a second have been recorded on the west coast, bringing storm-like conditions.

The front of snowy and windy weather is expected to last until Saturday and the Finnish Meteorological Institute says there is a chance that the storm will hit the opening ceremonies of the Nordic Skiing World Championships in Lahti.

Winds may hinder the women’s ski jump competitions, which are scheduled to begin tomorrow.

Snow makes driving hazardous

There is considerable snowfall in the south, and up to ten centimetres are expected before Thursday evening. The blowing snow means hazardous driving conditions, especially in the southwest.

The Southwest Finland Police Department issued a statement Wednesday afternoon warning drivers to avoid the roads if possible due to the exceptionally slippery conditions.

Yle meteorologist Toni Hellinen says the storm is the result of a very strong low pressure front from the western coast of Norway combining with a second low pressure area north of Stockholm. The two have now descended on Finland and will wreak havoc for at least the next 24 hours.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Arctic sea ice hits new record winter low, Radio Canada International

Finland: Daycare parents fight endless war with Finnish winter, Yle News

Greenland:  Arctic sea ice, Greenland and Europe’s weird weather, Blog by Irene Quaile, Deutsche Welle

Norway:  A letter from Svalbard’s dwindling sea ice, Deutsche Welle’s Iceblogger

Russia: 2016, warmest year on record in Russian Arctic, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Storm Helga weather warning for Sweden, Radio Sweden

United States: Ice extent still well below normal in Arctic, Alaska Dispatch News

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