New year brings in season’s record low temperatures

A gas tanker photographed from the Emäsalo bridge in Porvoo on New Year’s Day. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto / Lehtikuva)

The whole of Finland continues to usher in the new year in record-breaking chilly fashion, with the winter season’s New Year’s Day record temperature low already shattered by early Tuesday morning.

At Ylivieska airport, the mercury sank to -37.8 degrees at around 3:30am Tuesday, freezing out the previous record of -36.3 degrees in Juuka, North Karelia and Salla, Lapland. Both of those northern localities had broken the previous winter record a few hours earlier.

Even the usually balmier south of the country has faced extreme freezing temperatures in recent days. Virrat, in northern Pirkanmaa, experienced 30.1 degrees below zero on Monday and in Uusimaa’s Vihti it was 27.2 degrees below zero.

“It’s a tough reading for Uusimaa,” says Yle’s meteorologist Matti Huutonen of Vihti’s freezing temperatures.

Similar freezing figures can be expected in the coming days, according to Huutonen, who predicts that the season’s low temperature record will be broken again during the coming evenings and nights.

For the purposes of calculating seasonal records, the winter season is considered to start in November.

Temperatures may hit -40
The Finnish Meteorological Institute has issued freezing temperature warnings for almost the entire country for the next few days.

The most extreme freezing temperatures are expected for eastern Lapland, Kainuu, Koillismaa and North Ostrobothnia. Minus temperatures as low as -40 degrees are possible in Eastern Lapland.

According to Huutonen, freezing temperatures around -30 degrees can be expected to encroach as far as central Finland on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

“There is an arctic air mass over Finland,” Huutonen explains.

Along the Finland’s south coast and in northern Lapland, comparatively warmer winds may take a slight edge off the frozen temperatures. However, while the wind may technically ease the chill, as breezy conditions are unlikely to make the weather feel any less cold for those outdoors.

In the south, winds already began to rise early in the week, with possible snowfall predicted for the far south coast from mid-week.

According to Huutonen, the coldest air mass over Finland seems likely to recede by Saturday.

Related stories from around the North :

Canada : Canadian Arctic hunter survives 5-day blizzard, losing both hands to frostbite, CBC News

Finland : November was colder than average in Finnish Lapland, Yle News

United States : Family of Czech billionaire sues over Alaska crash death, The Associated Press

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