Exceptionally cold March in Arctic Finland

A file photo of a landscape in Finnish Lapland. (Eilís Quinn/Eye on the Arctic)

Finland’s Arctic Lapland region had an exceptionally cold March this year, in line with much of the rest of the country, said the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI).

In the southwestern archipelago region of the country,the average temperature was 0 C. Meanwhile, the average temperature in northern Lapland was -13 C. 

Using the 1991-2020 reference period, the March temperature average in Lapland was approximately 3 to 5 C below average. 

“March was exceptionally cold in particular in Northern Lapland,” the FMI said in a news release.

“The temperature was about 1-2 degrees lower than normal in the central part of the country and in North Ostrobothnia and Kainuu.”

Kittila Airport in Finnish Lapland. Site of the coldest day in March. (iStock)

The coldest day was at Kittilä Airport on 24 March were a temperature of -37.5 C was recorded. 

“At the same time, this was the lowest temperature during this half of winter, and the latest time for lowest temperature for this half of winter in statistics from 1959 onwards,” the FMI said. 

The month’s highest temperature, 10.2 C, was clocked in Jomala in in the Aland Islands in southern Finland. 

More rain, more sun in Lapland

Finnish Lapland also experienced more rain and more sun in some areas.

“In the northern part of the country, there were more hours of sunshine than usual, and in Northern Lapland there was an exceptional amount of sunshine,” the FMI said. “The last time it was this sunny in Northern Lapland was in March 2001.”

In southern and central Finland, there was slightly less sunshine in than average for the reference period.

The news release did not give the numbers of hours differences in the various regions.

Northern Lapland had an exceptional amount of sunshine in March, the FMI said. (Eilis Quinn/Eye on the Arctic)

Although rain was typical in many areas of Finland, more precipitation than usual was measured at three observation stations: one located in Kainuu, a region in eastern Finland, and in one each in central and in northern Lapland.

The lowest amount of precipitation in March, 15.2 mm, was logged in Utsjoki, in the northernmost region of Finland. 

The highest amount, and the most precipitation in one day, were both recorded in the east central part of the country: 100.1 mm for the month at the Huhtilampi observation station in Joensuu and 21.6 mm at the Mujejärvi observation station in Nurmes on March 18. 

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)cbc.ca

Related stories from around the North: 

Finland: Finland sees “exceptionally” mild January, Yle News

GreenlandGreenland’s temperatures warmest in last 1000 years, says study, Eye on the Arctic

Sweden: Temperature increase in Sweden twice as high as global average, weather service says, Radio Sweden

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