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Lapland's first snow comes as no surprise to reindeer herders

Several centimetres of snow fell at higher elevations of northwest Finland.

Ensilumi satoi Käsivarren tuntureille 18.9.2019.
Reindeer herder Per-Antti Labba captured the first snowfall on Wednesday. Image: Per Antti Labba
Yle News

The first snow of the season fell in Finland's northwestern arm on Wednesday morning, from the village of Karesuvanto in Enontekiö to the nearby fells, where reindeer herder Per-Antti Labba was looking after his livestock.

"It's snowed a few centimetres. It's foggy, cloudy and cold," he told Yle after sending in the above photo.

For local herders, the date of the first snowfall came as no surprise.

"It often snows for the first time exactly during this week of September in the northwestern fells. The snow will still melt many times before the real winter arrives, though," says Labba.

A week earlier than last year

Last year the first snow was recorded on 25 September in the village of Kilpisjärvi, about 100 km further north, where the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) has a weather station. There are no official weather stations in the surrounding fells.

Yle meteorologists say that local snow and sleet flurries are predicted for northern Finnish Lapland over the next few days, but that accumulations are expected to be negligible.

Karesuvanto is known in the indigenous Sámi language as Gárasavvon, while the twin village on the other side of the river that divides Finland and Sweden is called Karesuando. Finland's highest peak, Halti (1324 m) is further north in the municipality of Enontekiö, on the Norwegian border.

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