Coldest spring in 20 years in northern Finland

Still ice on Lake Inari in the last days on May. (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)
Average May temperature in Finnish Lapland was more than 6° C colder than last spring when it was green leaves in mid-May.

Snowy, cold wind, ice on the lakes. Spring 2017 seems to be cancelled in northern Scandinavia.

Finnish Meteorological Institute has put figures to what everyone in the north already know: May was more winter than spring with average temperature measured in Sodankylä in Lapland of 2.6°C, or 6.4°C colder than last spring’s May average of 9°C. May has not been colder since 1996.  Before that you have to go back to 1965 and 1968 to find anything similar.

June, supposed to be the first summer month, started off in northern Norway with a warning on radio to drivers: put on winter tires if crossing any of the mountain roads towards the coast of Finnmark.

And the white stuff blowing with the wind? No, its not pollen, but snowflakes.

This year stands in sharp contrast to last spring. In Kirkenes, where the Barents Observer has office, last May was 5.2°C warmer than average and by mid-May it was already green.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Arctic nations sign scientific cooperation agreement, Radio Canada International

Finland: Fourth year in a row: March temperatures milder than normal in Finland, Yle News

Greenland: Arctic sea ice – Is the minimum maximum the new normal?, blog by Irene Quaile, Deutsche Welle

Norway: As Arctic weather dramatically changes, world meteorologists take on more joint forecasting, The Independent Barents Observer

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

Sweden: Sweden’s glaciers are melting away, Radio Sweden

United States: U.S. ends Arctic Council chairmanship with reluctance on climate action, Alaska Dispatch News

Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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