Skiers on the frozen Baltic Sea in Aurinkolahti, an eastern sub-neighbourhood of Helsinki, on 3 February 2021. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

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THE SNOWFALL of recent days is expected make way for possibly severe sub-zero temperatures in Southern Finland.

YLE on Wednesday reported that the low-pressure front hovering over southern parts of the country will track east as the week progresses, making way for a stream of extremely cold air from the north-east.

The coldest air is not expected to arrive in Lapland, but rather in Southern and Central Finland, according to Matti Huutonen, a meteorologist at YLE. “Friday and Saturday will probably deliver the coldest readings, and it’ll likely be part of the winter’s coldest week at least for Southern Finland.”

Huutonen added that forecasting temperatures is currently difficult, especially locally, given the variation in cloud cover. The mercury, he said, should stay between -10°C and -20°C if the sky remains overcast but could sink quickly below the -20°C mark if the sky clears.

What is clear, however, is that the temperatures will be considerably lower than usual especially in southern regions.

“If you look at the five-day average temperatures, the difference is three to five degrees toward the colder [end of the spectrum] in Northern Finland. In the south, we’re looking at a roughly dozen-degree difference.”

Although the coldest air is forecast to leave the country by the start of next week, the temperatures are forecast to remain well below the freezing point, as another cold-air front is waiting across the eastern border.

“A really cold air front is very close to Finland. If the forecast changes slightly heading into next week, it’s possible the cold air will also flow to Finland. That’d mean temperatures in the -30°C region as south as Central Finland,” commented Huutonen.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT