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Finnish Lapland shivers at -34.8C, tough driving conditions in the west

The winter's cold record snapped on Saturday morning in Muonio, western Lapland.

Joulukuinen auringonlasku valaisee tykkylumikuorrutuksen saaneita kuusia Posiolla
Temperatures could rise above freezing early next week in Finnish Lapland (file photo from Posio). Image: Tapani Leisti / Yle
Yle News

The coldest temperature of this winter so far, -34.8 degrees Celsius, was recorded in Muonio, western Lapland, on Saturday morning, according to Yle meteorologist Matti Huutonen.

The previous record low, -34.2 degrees, was measured at Utsjoki in the far north on 13 December.

"There are major temperature variations across Lapland. The coldest area is currently between Enontekiö and Muonio, but Nuorgam [the northernmost village in Utsjoki municipality] is currently only at around -10 degrees," Huutonen said.

In contrast, Utsjoki also recorded one of last year's highest temperatures, 32.5 degrees, in late June.

According to Huutonen, Muonio's bitter cold will subside by Saturday afternoon. On Sunday, temperatures are set to become milder throughout Finnish Lapland as a high pressure system moves off toward Russia. Next week, temperatures may even rise above zero in Southern and Central Lapland, making for messy road and sidewalk conditions.

Difficult driving from Sunday to Tuesday

The Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) and Fintraffic have issued a travel advisory of poor road conditions from Sunday through Tuesday through all western parts of the country due to blowing and drifting snow, as well as gale-force winds and ice accretion on nearly all sea districts.

An orange alert for very hazardous driving has been issued for the Uusimaa region, which includes the Helsinki region, from 7am Monday until 7pm Tuesday.

8.1: Traffic warnings updated.

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