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Snow snarls transport in Kainuu and west – southern Finland’s turn next?

Flood waters may rise enough to threaten some homes, while flights are being re-routed and motorists warned of a messy commute on Thursday. Meanwhile in the far north, the temperature has sunk to a record -25.5.

Lumen painama puu kaatumassa Ruotsalossa tielle 5.11.2014 lumimyräkän jälkeen.
Wet snow downed trees in Ruotsalo, near Kokkola, on Wednesday. Image: Iina Kluukeri / Yle

On Tuesday night snow fell over large swathes of Finland, with accumulations of well over 20 cm in the eastern region of Kainuu. Meanwhile in the far northern municipality of Utsjoki, the temperature sank to this winter's coldest yet in Finland: -25.5 degrees Celsius.

Due to blizzard-like conditions, at least two flights were unable to land at Kokkola-Pietarsaari Airport on Tuesday. They were due to arrive from Gran Canaria and Stockholm.

The charter flight from the Canary Islands had to land in Helsinki because of strong winds, heavy snow and runway icing at the airport, located in the west-coast municipality of Kronoby. The plane from Sweden remained at its layout point in Pori, with passengers delivered onward by coach.

On Wednesday afternoon, there were still areas without electricity while driving conditions were still poor in North Ostrobothnia and Kainuu because of snow-covered roads.

Ostrobothnia, in the west, received an average month’s worth of precipitation within a day. According to the recently-established Flood Centre, heavy snow and rain has raised water levels in small river along the South Ostrobothnian coast.

The flow of the Närpes, Teuva, Laihia and Kauhajoki rivers is well above that during normal spring floods. The water may rise enough to threaten some homes before ebbing later in the day, the centre says.

Snow, sleet expected in south overnight

Meanwhile drier air is flowing into Finland from the north. Skies are clear on Tuesday afternoon across most central and northern areas, says Yle meteorologist Kerttu Kotakorpi.

A new band of precipitation is expected to sweep over Finland beginning Wednesday evening. It will bring sleet or snow to much of southern Finland, so Thursday morning’s commute could be slippery for drivers. Precipitation will continue during the day through southern and central Finland, bringing snow or sleet to inland areas and rain along the coast.

At the same time, it will remain blustery along the shoreline. There are warnings of near-gale force winds on southern sea areas, with speeds of 14-16 metres per second.

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