Precipitation levels in North Finland 1.5 –2 times higher than average

A 2019 photo taken near the village of Inari in Finnish Lapland in 2019. In January, Lapland reached record levels of snowfall with 110 cm in some places. (Alexander Kuznetsov/Reuters)
Outside of the Arctic region of Lapland, Finland experienced record-breaking average temperatures and all-time highs in the month of January says the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI),

“At some observation stations, the previous records were exceeded by as much as over two degrees,”  meteorologist Pauli Jokinen said in news release.

The record mild temperatures stretched all across southern Finland and up to the North Ostrobothnia city and municipality of Oulu. 

In the affected areas, the temperatures were 7–8 C milder than usual compared the 1981–2010 reference period.

“In many areas, the average temperature of January was equivalent to typical conditions in late March and early April,” Jokinen said.

A Tweet from the Finnish Meteorological Institute announcing January’s record breaking temperatures:

Arctic outlier?

Although many parts of Lapland were 2-5 C milder than usual depending on the region, the FMI said the numbers could not be considered exceptional.

Where Lapland did stand out was with its snowfall, which reached record levels of 110 cm in some regions.

This was in stark contrast to the more southern and central regions of Finland that received exceptionally little snowfall compared to the average.

Precipitation levels in north Finland were 1.5 – 2 times higher than usual, something the FMI characterized as rare, occurring only once every 10 years or even less frequently.

Precipitation led to heavy snowfall in northern Finland in January. (iStock)

The most recent January FMI stats follow the weather office’s roundup of Lapland’s autumn weather conditions, calculated from September to November, which found that the region was approximately 1 – 2 C colder than usual.

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)

Related stories from around the North:

Finland: 40 C temperature gap between northern and southern Finland, Yle News

Norway: Temperatures on Svalbard have been above normal for 100 straight months, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russian climate report stresses adaptation but no reduction in fossil fuel extraction, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: January temperatures about 10°C above normal in parts of northern Sweden, says weather service, Radio Sweden

United States: Temperatures nearing all-time records in Southcentral Alaska, Alaska Public Media

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project. Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying a culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

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