Heavy snowfall is expected to worsen road conditions in many southern parts of Finland on Thursday, according to the Finnish Meteorological Institute. (Credit: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)


A BLIZZARD is expected to dump up to 20 centimetres of snow on southern parts of Finland on Thursday, says the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI).

FMI on Wednesday highlighted that on average snowfall of 20 centimetres is witnessed no more than three times a year in Uusimaa. Commuters, as a result, should consider telecommuting or taking the day off entirely, according to two meteorologists at the government forecasting and weather data agency.

“Road conditions are set to be very challenging tomorrow, so it is worth considering if it is possible to telecommute and not get on the road at all,” said one of the meteorologists.

The forecast indicates that 10–20 centimetres of snow will accumulate south of the line along Turku, Lahti and Savonlinna. The snowfall may also exceed 20 centimetres in certain coastal regions as the blizzard tracks eastward across southern parts of the country during the course of Thursday.

Snowfall in the capital region will be particularly heavy until the end of the morning rush-hour commute.

Both Finnair and VR announced yesterday the snowfall will cause delays and cancellations on Thursday.

The state-owned airline stated that it has cancelled 41 flights in order to ensure air traffic can function as smoothly as possible in the difficult conditions. A comprehensive list of the cancellations is available on the website of Finnair.

“Heavy snowfall is expected to restrict air traffic and ground-level functions at Helsinki Airport on 17 January,” said a spokesperson at Finnair. “Passengers flying tomorrow should prepare for delays.”

VR, in turn, announced it will not operate some of its commuter rail services.

“No long-distance services will be cancelled in advance, but passengers should prepare for delays and possible cancellations,” said a spokesperson for the state-owned railway company.

Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) said it has reduced the service frequency of trains operating on routes A and K, as well as cancelled all trains operating on route Y between Siuntio and Helsinki – except for the train departing from Karjaa at 5.43am – and trains operating on route D between Riihimäki and Helsinki.

“A and K trains will have a service frequency of 20 minutes,” it said.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi